Why can’t we just talk to each other? Conversational Values and You

By: Tyler Dzuba

Have you ever tried to have a conversation, but keep getting derailed for one of these two reasons?

  • “They won’t speak up at all! I’m carrying the whole conversation!”
  • “I can’t get a word in edgewise! They’re taking up all the air in the room!”

Let me share how some savvy from the world of linguistics can help you communicate better in these cases. (Spoiler: try on the opposite conversational style, even if it feels a little rude to you!)

Did you know that across cultures and languages, people on average notice a silence of only 200 milliseconds—just a fifth of a second!—as a discernible gap in conversation? That’s literally a blink of an eye.

Here’s the thing, though: what we do with those gaps in conversation might get us in trouble depending on who we’re talking with. The research in conversation analysis tells us that individual people fall on a spectrum between high-involvement...

Continue Reading...

Talking about Values and Politics: Something’s Gotta Give

Image Credit: Palo Alto City Library

Four years ago, the day after the election, I walked into the offices of a company that is an international powerhouse in the communications industry. Several months before, I had been scheduled to be onsite, offering anti-bias workshops for executives who had flown in from various regional offices across the U.S. A long planning process had occurred but not one of the creative teams had prepared communications in the event  Donald Trump became the newly elected president. Not one. Everyone was running in circles trying to figure out what to do. Everything seemed blurry and surreal. Regardless of political stance, most people were shocked by the outcome. That day was a mess, an incredibly unproductive, emotion, and confusion-filled mess. 

We can’t know what additional surprises this election will hold, but we can learn from recent experience. Today is, with so much attention on the attributes and expectations of leaders, also a...

Continue Reading...

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.