Like Patrick Lambe
, I loved this story of telling stories to hear stories
. Only wish I had thought of it when my children were younger. It's a great technique - well actually its not a technique at all - that would soon be seen through and is manipulative. What it is really about, is treating the person you are talking
with as an equal; not talking down to them or patronizing them. When you do that then you can have a conversation of equals.
When I see my teenage daughter after school I would often ask how her day went, whether anything interesting happened at school, and the standard response is often monosyllabic: yep, nup. In fact the more questions I’d ask the shorter the answers. So I changed tack and rather than ask questions I simply recounted something that happened in my day. I would launch into something like, “I met a bearded lady today. This morning I drove down to Fitzroy to run an anecdote circle for …” and immediately my daughter would respond with an encounter from her day. A conversation starts and it’s delightful.
Its also what I try to do in my knowledge cafes
- ensure that everyone is an equal - there are no table leaders; no people nominated to report back. Everyone has an equal voice and this helps free up the conversational flow.