Changing the Conversation

I've been reading more while on a completely offline vacation (remember those?) and came across this quote in David Leddick's excellent book I'm not for Everyone. Neither are You.

He says in confrontation, never answer the way people expect you to. I would add, especially by email, which is not a conversation, even though it feels like one.

When you are having a disagreement with someone, it is something  like a tennis match. The ball goes back and forth over the net. You say one thing. The other person responds exactly as they are expected to. Nothing advances. No one is convinced. No minds are changed. Round and round it goes in a patter of repetition.

Don't do this. Just think what they expect you to say in response and don't do it.


Break the pattern. In that way you can proceed forward and not curve back around, repeating the pattern that is your usual way to respond to criticisms and arguments.

Try it. It works. Suddenly you are in new territory.

[David Leddick: I'm Not For Everyone. Neither Are you.]

It reminded me of a post I wrote six years ago on how changing the conversation allows us to change the game.

We are all in the business of understanding each other and what we want and need and by doing that transforming what is now into what is next.


Valeria is an experienced listener. She designs service and product experiences to help businesses rediscover the value of promises and its effect on relationships and culture. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on a variety of topics. Book her to speak here.