I’ve decided to become good at conversation.
You know what Larry King says about that? He says the best way to be good at conversation is to be interested. And interesting. Hmmm.
What makes you interesting? Speaking from the heart. Speaking about things that actually matter to you, that are on your mind, that you are passionate about.
And what makes you interested? Listening from the heart. Listening with grace and compassion and selflessness. Listening in such a way that makes the speaker feel respected, interesting, important and HEARD.
What do both of these have in common? They are both acts of love – in the first case, passion about causes, events and ideas and in the second case, compassion for the speaker.
Speaking from the heart definitely amps your conversation mojo but it also has the additional benefit of facilitating synchronicity and serendipity. The more you say what’s on you mind, whether it be via social media or just talking to the check-out guy or the waiter or strangers on planes – you get the idea – the more something you say will resonate with someone, and all of a sudden you’ll have a connection, a resource, a missing piece fall into place, or an incredible opportunity present itself.
Synchronicity and serendipity are both ideas I was skeptical of until I experienced them powerfully myself. Synchronicity is moments of “meaningful coincidence” and serendipity I’ll define as “fortuitous or happy coincidence.”
Because I’m excited about it, I’ll share how my speaking from the heart brought a couple incidences of serendipity about that resulted in amazing opportunities for me, and then I’ll pass along Larry King’s advice for getting started at this new way of communicating (at least for me).
The first amazing thing that happened was after I had hammered out a marketing blog post inspired by consulting with a client on how to best write a cold email to a sales prospect. Someone happened across the article and contacted me for marketing help.
It turns out the company is an amazing start-up with a fabulous product (can’t say too much now, but stay tuned) and working for them is so much fun – a wonderful, meaty challenge that brings meaning and passion into my life.
If I hadn’t put myself out there writing about other consulting work I had done that I was proud of and excited about (in a tone that was authentic to me), this company would never have found me. And what a perfect company! Could not have asked for a better fit!
The second thing was this morning. I was chatting with my esthetician (guys, sorry, this is LA!) about things going on in my life – just stuff that was front of mind – and one of them is our dogs. I love our dogs but they are high maintenance! One is a Shar-pei X that is having eye issues, and needs surgery. So I was telling her how the specialty vet is pricy and the surgery is a few grand, and as luck would have it, her dog had the same issue too!
So she told me all about how they handled it – and at the end of it, I had a lead on a capable vet in Mexico who would be able to do the surgery for a tenth of the price. I’m so excited to make this happen for my baby girl because she is so sweet and helpless – all you dog owners know – I’ll stop with the sappiness now. 🙂
Wow. Coincidences. Things falling into place. Amazing opportunities. All because of my big mouth. 😉
So how to do this? Larry King says to be authentic, vulnerable and just describe things exactly as they are happening.
This means stop pretending! If you are having a crappy day, cop to it, talk about it. If you’re unprepared or happy or embarrassed or distracted by some other emotion, say it: Sorry, I just got off the phone with my mother and she’s getting remarried, so I’m distracted by her great news!
And then, who knows? The person you’re talking to might know of a woman who designs wedding dresses for this exact type of bride, or might have a free coupon for travel in Hawaii that they’re unable to use – who KNOWS??! You won’t until you trigger someone else with your “heart words.”
If you want to know the book, it’s How to Talk to Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere by Larry King.
So, even if you’re an introvert, or private, just give this a try – you don’t have to reveal your most vulnerable thoughts, but maybe mention your passion project a little more often than normal, or share a small worry with a stranger on the plane (sometimes easier than a friend). Sharing your truth(s) is another way of weaving and creating energy – and drawing helpful energy your way!
Now…onto my next challenge: listening from the heart! 😉