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April 11, 2024 4 mins

Make casual conversations more positive

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Speaker 1 (00:03):
Welcome to Before Breakfast, a production of iHeartRadio. Good Morning.
This is Laura, Welcome to the Before Breakfast podcast. Today's
tip is to invite people to share good news. This
can lead to a more fruitful and positive conversation than

the usual how are you banter? We hear all day long.
If you pay attention, you will no doubt see that
you say some version of how's it going multiple times
per day. It can be formal, like with a team
icebreaker in a meeting, but that is also how we

greet kids, or friends, or even a regular barista. And
there's nothing wrong with this question. The problem is that
almost everyone is going to answer fine or In this
day and age busy, none of these answers do much

to advance the conversation along. So why not tweak this
question just a little bit and specifically invite people to
share something good? For instance, the tell me what you've
been up to opening of a meeting could be asking
everyone to share a win from the last week. If
nothing else, the meeting is going to start with everyone

feeling like they are in a more positive frame of mind. Wow,
this is a winning team. If you are leading a
Sunday school class, or a Girl Scout troop meeting. You
could likewise invite people to share the best thing that
happened since you last saw each other. Ask your Saturday

morning running buddies what was the highlight of their week.
If you run into a friend in the grocery store,
ask her what she most enjoyed cooking this week, Or
if you are meeting in the garden store, ask her
what's the prettiest thing growing in her yard right now.
Little kids may be eager to share their good news,

but older kids and adults can sometimes need more of
an invitation. Maybe they don't want to boast, or maybe
they are sensitive to other people's struggles. They don't want
to draw attention to their own good fortune. I get that,
but regardless, when you invite people to tell you something good,
you give them license to amplify their own joy by

sharing it with you. Now, of course, for relationships to
be authentic, we need opportunities to share bad news as well.
Our lives are not all sunshine and smiles, so be
sure that you leave room in your close relationships for
talking about your whole life, not just the cheerful parts.

And of course you need to read the room I
am not sure that a meeting about layoffs needs to
start with a discussion of people's wins. And if your
friend in the grocery store looks exhausted, maybe offering her
a kind word and wishing her a peaceful week is
more appropriate. But with those caveats in mind, sometimes, especially

in a quick how are you kind of exchange, asking
for a high can be a great way to connect
over something specific and positive, and that can be a
very good thing. Indeed, in the meantime, this is Laura.
Thanks for listening, and here's to making the most of

our time. Thanks for listening to Before Breakfast. If you've
got questions, ideas, or feedback, you can reach me at
Laura at Laura vandercam dot com. Before Breakfast is a

production of iHeartMedia. For more podcasts from iHeartMedia, please visit
the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to
your favorite shows.

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Laura Vanderkam

Laura Vanderkam

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