Direct questions

It is part of being human to have questions, thoughts and a lot of feelings about [x]. How can you have more answers, educated guesses, certainty and informed feelings based on ideas and knowledge?

Ask direct questions clears the air

If you ask someone a direct question you will have a better understanding of what you have to do, know and think. How can you do this?

Home life
Asking who wants dinner today will allow you to make sure you put enough on. Remember to be direct and specific when asking home life questions. Who wants dinner is different than who wants dinner in an hour.
Work life
Asking what format your organisation uses for reports will allow you to produce a very good report. Are you stuck on a task in work? Ask another employee “how do I…”.
What are you stuck on? Ask someone a direct question based on this.
Personal life
Are you thinking about what someone said? Ask them what did they mean by [what they said]. Being direct does not mean you will argue it clears the air. Remember that you can agree to disagree!

Tact and situation

There will be times when direct questions are inappropriate (see the comment below this blog post) so you will need to use you instinct and decide whether or not a direct question is suitable. Like life itself there must be a balance and it is up to you to find this happy medium, if you like, to do ask the right type of question in any given situation.

Direct questions are great because they usually have direct answers. Direct questions are also specific, thus clear. Be specific, within the question, name the person you are speaking to and put a realistic time-frame within the question.

Directness works in all aspects of your life. Having direct answers allows you to understand something better. If you can understand something you are likely to enjoy it, be happy and thought-free.

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A relevant conversation

What does relevant mean?

adjective
closely connected or appropriate to the matter in hand
Oxford English Dictionary’s definition

Right now this post is relevant to you, you have logged onto your computer to read this blog. Why are things not always relevant?

Why are things no longer relevant?

So we know what relevant means but why do the things we used to enjoy become boring, or non-enjoyable tasks?

Age changes our perspective. Age alters relevancy.
So as we get older we can reflect on what we used to like, such as, a radio station, for example. Sometimes these things are no longer relevant because we are older: age changes our outlook because we grow up to learn and enjoy different things. Is this why adults do not go and build sandcastles every afternoon?
Relevant changes with the here and now
Why play a song in front of friends who don’t like it? It’s not relevant, or appropriate. Relevancy can depend on the actual moment in time.

As we grow older, which happens every second of every moment in life, we change what we think is relevant. Whatever you think relevancy is depends upon who you are (sometimes things like relationships, money and family circumstances change what we see as being relevant). If one person doesn’t think something’s good, maybe it is not relevant to them. Don’t let this beat you up. Go with what is relevant to you: Go with your gut instinct — what feels right.

The art of conversation

A conversation does not always have a refined, structured pattern, yet some of our conversations are better than others. Why?

Conversation is an art

Some people have a brilliant gift: people can easily start a conversation with (pretty much) anyone. At times they are able to obtain more information on a person’s viewpoint, or they can easily approach a topic which is often considered taboo. For example, a counsellor who specializes in trauma may be able to ask a person something that might otherwise be deemed inappropriate, or, well, a scary topic to approach in the first instance! But does this example already reveal something about speech, talking and conversations? Perhaps it does, let’s explore it.

Conversation is everywhere

A conversation is a communication method, so everyone can communicate. Take a paralysed person, for example, who communicates with their eyes rather than speaking flatulently with words. Although they are not making words with their mouth, they are still communicating by having a conversation with another person through vision.

What about…

animals? Those whistles we hear in the morning, whenever we wake up, are birds communicating with one another. Are they discussing where the food is? Does it matter? Not really, so long as it makes sense to them, and so long as it doesn’t harm others, then a conversation should be embraced more often.

Name the conversation

I am not suggesting that I am an expert in talking, or that a conversation should have certain elements within it, but I am suggesting (from my personal opinion) that a conversation should have a certain element of structure in order to be a memorable, useful, or even a funny conversation.

So personalise a conversation if you can. This is literally saying a persons name within a sentence.

Jack, how are you today?

That is much better than saying “how are you today?” Isn’t it? Personalise common phrases:

  • if it’s the morning, say good morning in your sentence – use your gift of speech.
  • if you don’t know a persons name, say pal, or buddy – use your instinct of what feels right. Remember your gut feeling?

Personalised conversations could also help to imply that you really mean what you have said. It also shows a little thought, on your part, the conversationalist. Our gift of language is too beautiful to forget.

Social media

Who said social media (Facebook, Twitter etc) are killing conversations? We have words, we know them, we can use them, we are using them. Conversation’s are simply brilliant, so go, make somebodies day – have a conversation with them!

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Unplanned power

Our plans don’t always go exactly the way we want them to. But that is as it should be, unplanned, often having a powerful impact.

Remember when…

  • …you were at a party and said that joke in perfect timing, but you thought it wouldn’t have sounded the way it did – great
  • …you were running late for the bus but it was also two minutes late, allowing you to get to Z on time
  • …you were thinking of what to write in a text message to a friend, but when actually came to writing it, it read better than you initially thought
  • …you dreamt of doing something, perhaps a career, or spending lunchtime with your family one day, but it turned out to be better than what you originally thought. The lunch was beautiful, and the conversation was flowing

Power of thinking and doing

Simply by thinking about something is power – it shows original thought, it shows that you are able to actually achieve and do something! So the next time (which will be very soon) you plan something, think of its power and soak it all up – it’s powerful stuff.

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