November 28, 2007

Are You Making the Most of the Conversation?

published this at 11:36 am

Which Conversations Are Important Too!

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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!!

Filed under Customer Think, Inside-Out Thinking, Successful Blog | 27 Comments »


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27 Comments to “Are You Making the Most of the Conversation?”

  1. November 28th, 2007 at 11:53 am
    Adrian Dunevein said

    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. November 28th, 2007 at 4:02 pm
    Robert Hruzek said

    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. November 28th, 2007 at 5:59 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    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. November 28th, 2007 at 6:00 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hi Robert!
    New connections bring new ideas. I agree the new people are good for all of us . . . changes us and makes us new again for each other. :)

  5. November 28th, 2007 at 7:35 pm
    SunnySchlenger said

    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. ;-)
    Thanks!

  6. November 28th, 2007 at 8:18 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hi Sunny!
    Getting to know the folks around us is the quickest way to feel we belong.

    I’m happy to include you on the Tuesday mailing list!

  7. November 28th, 2007 at 10:35 pm
    Aruni said

    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.

  8. November 28th, 2007 at 11:13 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    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. :)

  9. November 29th, 2007 at 3:44 am
    Karin H. said

    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)

  10. November 29th, 2007 at 4:30 am
    ME Liz Strauss said

    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. :)

  11. November 29th, 2007 at 4:32 am
    Karin H. said

    Hey Liz

    I like your ‘next’ dream thoughts.

    Upwards and onwards again ;-)

    Karin H.

  12. November 29th, 2007 at 4:40 am
    ME Liz Strauss said

    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. :)

  13. November 29th, 2007 at 7:00 am
    Robert Hruzek said

    Hey, I like that image! And here’s another thought for you – sometimes people might be in our way so WE can give THEM a push up!

  14. November 29th, 2007 at 7:03 am
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hey, Robert!
    That sure another way to get things moving up!

  15. November 29th, 2007 at 8:15 am
    Mike said

    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?

  16. November 29th, 2007 at 8:18 am
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hey,
    What a great idea! Will you help me?

    New Networks in the 200 range!

    I’d have to borrow the boot, and I’d fear falling bodies. :)

  17. November 29th, 2007 at 8:22 am
    Mike said

    Helping hands are all I can offer. And the odd collection of neurons… ;-)

  18. November 29th, 2007 at 8:24 am
    ME Liz Strauss said

    You have plenty to offer, Mike.
    You don’t fool me for a second. :)

    I know, I have to rename it the “200 Truly Outstanding Blogs Caper.” :)

  19. November 29th, 2007 at 2:21 pm
    Mike said

    Superawesome! And thank you for noticing.

  20. November 29th, 2007 at 2:32 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    You’re welcome.
    It’s my pleasure, sir, to make you smile.

  21. November 29th, 2007 at 3:37 pm
    Robert Hruzek said

    Hey Mike, I agree that should at least be held as an, er, um, “option” (but only when absolutely necessary!)

  22. November 29th, 2007 at 5:00 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hey Robert,
    I applaud your discretion. :)

  23. November 29th, 2007 at 8:27 pm
    Aruni said

    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. :-)

  24. November 29th, 2007 at 8:43 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    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.

  25. November 30th, 2007 at 8:11 pm
    FV Gazi said

    Definitely depends on if the blog owner actually “listens” to what’s being said or trying to be said
    FV

  26. November 30th, 2007 at 10:04 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Yep, FV,
    I agree with you there. Completely.

  27. December 13th, 2007 at 9:45 am
    entrepreMusings » Social Media Mania - What’s A Gal To Do? said

    [...] Fortunately, I’m fairly social.  I mentioned on a post that Liz Strauss did recently called Business and Life: Are You Making the Most of the Conversation? that “I am a Participant, rarely a Lurker, and often a [...]

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