A Year-End Reflection: Creating Meaningful Conversations 

“One good conversation can shift the direction of change forever.” – Linda Lambert

It’s that time of the year again when people are so excited about their plans for the new year. It’s also a time when we reflect on what we have accomplished or need to improve. I want to focus on building relationships through meaningful conversations in this newsletter.

Are we having quality relationships with people? Are we spending time with them in a way where it’s valuable to us, and it’s valuable to them?

A lot of times, our difficulties stem from the conversations we have with our team. We cannot give our full attention to the person we are talking to because of distractions. When this happens, we are not listening to what the other person is saying. We cannot understand what they need, so we do not know how to help them.

“The art of conversation lies in listening.” – Malcolm Forbes.

Our relationship improves if we genuinely care for the other person and want to share quality time with them. We can even appreciate this person’s gift for us because every person or relationship can be a gift. A real human connection is created where we can have heart-to-heart conversations.

The pandemic serves as a reminder of the importance of meaningful interactions and conversations with loved ones, friends, and colleagues. Remember how it feels to hug someone, talk to someone in person and not just through videos or calls, and have honest conversations. Keep those quality conversations.

Another critical part of leaders is their relationship with people not part of their team at work.

How do you spend time with people outside of work? Do you listen to them? What other ways can you show that you care about people?

Often, we are always in a rush. We rush to work early in the morning without leaving a kind word for the people in our homes. We stay late at work to write reports or finish projects to beat deadlines. However, we ignore the people who wait for us at home, willing to listen to how our day was. When a chance to converse with them is open, you brush them off because you must rush back to work.

The ability to make time to focus on other people outside of work for genuine conversation is the most thoughtful gift you could give to your family or friends.

After what happened during the Covid-19 pandemic, the opportunity to speak with people face to face is an experience you would not trade for anything. There are some things the internet cannot provide, such as in-person conversations. The strength of a relationship is enhanced when friends, colleagues, and loved ones are physically present. The question now is, what would happen if it were taken from us? Can you imagine how that would feel?

I remember my first face-to-face workshop after the pandemic. I was nervous but also excited to see people again. It’s a different feeling to read people’s expressions in person.

So how do you nurture these kinds of relationships? How do you have quality conversations? How do you give back and give value to show that you care? How do we build on the pandemic’s lessons and how people are so significant to us? What do you want to bring with you in the coming year?

Leaders should ask these questions as part of their year-end reflections. Take a pause and reflect on the quality of conversations you had with everyone connected to you.