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  • James McPartland

Seek to Understand in Conversation

Be willing to stay in a conversation until you are sure your message has landed and the other’s message is received. It is a basic human need for all of us to be understood.”

- James McPartland



When it comes to having productive conversations, first and foremost, the important thing is to have a courageous conversation with ourselves-- be sure that we are available to engage and be fully present. Once we’ve done that, and we are ready to converse with another, it’s best to ask at the appropriate time, questions like:


Do you want feedback?


Would you like to hear some of my ideas?


How would you like me to engage?


What is it you want me to be listening for?


How can I support you?


We want to make sure that we’re being honest, fully present, and getting out of each conversation what the other individual intends for us to get… and that we are giving them the attention they brought to us by virtue of the discussion.


Be willing to stay with it with an individual to make sure that your message lands and their message is received. Even if there are two points of view at least you understand where the other is coming from.


One of the basic core human needs of an individual is to be understood - if nothing else.


I may disagree with you but if I know you understand me, I’ve built a powerful relationship.


And that is being personally responsible.