Are You Making the Most of the Conversation?

Which Conversations Are Important Too!

insideout logo

In the world of business, it takes an action to make something happen. Watching rarely gets anything done. A conversation is a great place to make things happen. Yet, many of us seem to be missing out.

Where do you fit in the conversation? Are you a lurker, a listener, or a participant?

the conversation

If you’re a lurker, you’re getting the value of the information.

If you’re a listener, you’re also finding out who knows what and who’s a pretender. Listeners soon find out who’s connected to whom.

If you’re a participant, you’re making an impression. People are also finding out about you.

But this is only stage one.

Where the conversation occurs makes a difference. Are you only talking to the people you already know? When you move into a new network do you move down to the level of a lurker? I know that I used to do just that. Then I realized something important.

If we only talk to the same group of people, we’ll always be in that same group talking about the same things on and on.

Want to know, want to grow? You need to expand where you have your conversations.

the network

In our circle of friends, we usually agree on the same ideas.

When we move out to a network of colleagues and acquaintances, we can share in new ideas and new thoughts.

If we want to move up and out, if we want to grow and become more, we have to get to know the folks who know what we need to know. That means reaching out of our personal network to explore many more networks — the networks to which those people belong — and letting those who need a hand up into our own.

Being part of a conversation is a step in the right direction. Using the conversation to reach out raises the bar. Are you taking the conversation as far as you might to grow?

–ME ‘Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz!!

–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz!!


  1. says

    Excellent Advice.

    Its amazing what you can learn when you keep your ears and eyes open and your mouth closed.

    Listening intently to what someone has to say is the sincerest kind of flattery. The more you listen the more people will come to trust you.

    Best Regards

    Adrian D.

  2. says

    Hi Liz! I completely agree; that “next stage” is where the rubber REALLY meets the road.

    In fact, one of the things I enjoy the most about our monthly “What I Learned From…” writing projects is when total strangers jump in! Then we all benefit from new connections.

  3. says

    Hi Adrian!
    Yeah, listening is underated for sure, but if you only listen, people will never find out what you know. Listening and speaking together with a thought to other people is a powerful way to grow. :)

  4. says

    Beautifully expressed, Liz.
    Shyness is a funny thing. I can speak comfortably to a room of 1000, but commenting on blogs has always taken me time.
    I wanted to ask you, can you put me on some sort of mailing list for your Tuesday night parties? Being in Arizona, I seem to always arrive too late. 😉

  5. says

    Well said! I have always despised cliques. If I am part of a group and if that group opposes others joining us, I throw up a red flag. This means that I don’t always stay in the same group because most people want to stay in their comfort zone. I do too but I think you can be in your comfort zone and let people in & out from time to time.

    I have been fascinated with the blogosphere and its openness to include new people into circles. It will be interesting to see how over time how hard it is for newcomers to break in to established groups.

  6. says

    Hi Aruni!
    I wasn’t really thinking of cliques. I was thinking of comfort zones. Most people naturally gravitate to what they know without realizing that they’re limiting the ideas and people that will help them grow. Yes.

    Of course, a comfort zone is where we spend a good part of our time. It’s when it’s the only place that we’re losing out of opportunity. :)

  7. says

    Hi Liz

    The second image made me think of ‘stepping stones’. First you only ‘dare’ to share your thoughts, ideas with your friends, then the next step in sharing them with your network (extended group of friends) before you step into different groups of network – sometimes out of your comfort zone, but now with the ‘experience ‘ of those first stepping stones under your belt.

    And so your stepping stone pile grows and grows and your ideas (own or learned from others) extend to share out again on the next stepping stone.

    Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)

  8. says

    Hi Karin!
    Sharing thoughts and ideas and then stepping out to take them to new people is a lovely image. It also seems exactly what has to happen to make the most of where a conversation might take us. That path of stepping stones could lead us to the doorway of our next dream. :)

  9. says

    More and more I think that people are only in our way by accident. We misinterpret them as roadblocks because we don’t understand why they seem to be in our way. :)

    If we would take a minute to speak and to listen, we might find that most of them would either move or give us a hand up . . . and help us on our way to those very selfsame dreams. :)

  10. says

    I think what Bob meant to say was “give them a helpful boost with the business end of a size 12 steel-toed boot” – or something to that effect.

    I love tapping new networks; there just never seems to be enough time to explore…

    …and does this mean the “200 Truly Unique Blog” feature will be making a return?

  11. says

    Hi Liz – I meant to respond sooner but of course many other things had to be done. :-) I see what you are saying and I think it is very true. I also see that one of the dangers of staying just within your friends is that a ‘clique’ forms…not necessarily a clique of the same individuals but also a ‘clique’ of the same ideas.

    As you probably suspected, I am a Participant, rarely a Lurker, and often a Listener. :-)

  12. says

    Like you, Aruni, I can see the value of moving out of a “clique” of ideas. Also like you, I am one who sees the value of all three roles . . . lurker, listener, participant.

    Sometimes it is good to stand back, watch and think.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *