Today I had a number of exciting conversations. Reflecting upon my day, what struck me was how varied the types of conversations were. Because of some of the work I’ve been doing lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about communication styles and how they impact not only what information we communicate directly, but the very shape of the person we are in another person’s mind as a result.

Today alone, I had the following impactful conversations:

  • Someone shared with me many great ideas and goals in a brainstorming session.
  • Someone came to me for advice with a difficult situation.
  • I interviewed someone for a job with our company.
  • I taught someone a skill.
  • I met someone for the first time and had a deep conversation about their history and struggles.
  • My boss and I shared business strategy and management advice with each other.
  • I laughed at a silly situation and then made plans with a loved one.
  • I taught a valuable lesson about patience via some discipline (don’t worry, that one was my kid; I don’t just randomly go around parenting strangers).

These conversations were all so different; formal to informal, emotional to logical, purpose-driven to carefree. They involved a wide range of people who were all so very different from me and from one another.

We have so many words we can use, a vast myriad of orders we could put them in, and infinite ways they could be interpreted. It’s an absolute miracle we can communicate anything at all, let alone the deep and nuanced thoughts that we share with each other so many times a day.

That’s why I love slang. I love new slang terms, because every new way of expressing an idea is a million million new conversation paths that can spring into existence. Every piece of shared experience is a way to help someone understand something new – even if that someone is you.

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