Article written by Jo Saies from PB Performance Coaching
We know from positive psychology that strong, nurturing relationships and connection with others are critical to our health, happiness and well-being. Regular and meaningful conversation is a really important way to create connection and nurture relationships.
The trouble is we’re losing the art of regular and meaningful conversation. Other priorities get in the way, and sadly we spend much of our time in one way communication. Whether it be on-line, at the dinner table or in the board room, we spend a lot of our time just saying things at each other, telling people stuff we want them to hear with little regard for their needs, interests or responses.
Thursday 15 September, 2011 is R U OK? Day. It’s a national day of action which aims to prevent suicide by encouraging Australians to connect with someone they care about and help stop little problems turning into big ones. On that day we want everyone across the country, from all backgrounds and walks of life, to ask family, friends and colleagues: "Are you OK?". It's so simple.
Often when we ask people how they are, we don’t want to hear how they really are. If they are brave enough to tell us, we can switch off pretty quickly, by thinking about what else we should be doing (gosh is that the time...), responding to other distractions (oh there's another SMS…), or getting absorbed in our own thoughts (what shall I have for dinner.....). We’re uncomfortable with emotion, and often don’t know how to respond, and so pretty quickly we find a way to interrupt and bring the conversation around to us.
Connecting with people in conversation requires only a few basic skills. Here's five of my favourites:
Feeling lonely, isolated or hopeless can contribute to depression, other mental illnesses, and even suicide. Regular, meaningful conversations can protect those we know and love. Ask the people you care about if they’re OK, and be sure to ask with the intention of really connecting with them. In the time it takes to have a coffee, with the right approach and intention, you can start a conversation that could change a life.
If you would like more information on PB Performance Coaching go to www.pbperformance.com.au
Also check out the R U Ok? Website www.ruokday.com.au