LeaderLab

Untangling Conversations A Sample Script

By Paula Cole Jones

In her Drivetime Essay Untangling Conversations, Paula Cole Jones states:

Several strands of rope tied into a knot

There are usually three conversations underlying our communication with each other. One is a conversation about what we observe and experience. This conversation is relatively objective, it is oriented around actions and environment, and it is not emotionally charged. Another level of conversation is about our hopes and satisfactions. This is the source from which we project our aspirations and positive feelings. Then there is a level of conversation that comes from our fears and frustrations. From here we project our doubts, apprehensions, and negative feelings into the mix.

Here is a sample script you can use to untangle conversations:

Round 1 (Framing):

Name or describe what the issue is--as either a complication or opportunity.

Round 2 (Perception):

Describe your own observations and experiences of what happened.

Round 3 (Aspiration):

What hopes did you have?

What satisfactions did you experience?

Round 4 (Desires):

What fears or frustrations did you experience?

What was the hardest thing for you?

Round 5 (Growth):

What are your edges for growth?

Where are you being called to stretch?

About the Author

Paula Cole Jones

Paula Cole Jones is the founder of ADORE (A Dialogue on Race & Ethnicity), a former president of DRUUMM (Diverse and Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries) and an independent consultant specializing in multicultural competencies and institutional change. She lives in...

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