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Why can’t we just talk to each other? Conversational Values and You

By: Tyler Dzuba

Have you ever tried to have a conversation, but keep getting derailed for one of these two reasons?

  • “They won’t speak up at all! I’m carrying the whole conversation!”
  • “I can’t get a word in edgewise! They’re taking up all the air in the room!”

Let me share how some savvy from the world of linguistics can help you communicate better in these cases. (Spoiler: try on the opposite conversational style, even if it feels a little rude to you!)

Did you know that across cultures and languages, people on average notice a silence of only 200 milliseconds—just a fifth of a second!—as a discernible gap in conversation? That’s literally a blink of an eye.

Here’s the thing, though: what we do with those gaps in conversation might get us in trouble depending on who we’re talking with. The research in conversation analysis tells us that individual people fall on a spectrum between high-involvement...

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Don’t Let Covid be An Excuse: Now’s the Time to Double Down on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

 

I’ve been doing work related to equity, diversity, and inclusion for nearly 30 years. I’ve seen the ebb and flow of interest and commitment by people in leadership roles, across organizations, and industries. The rationale has typically fallen into one of two categories: 1. “Our priorities have shifted. We have to focus on the immediate crisis at hand.” or 2. “We tried. We hired a person but didn’t get the results we expected.” As in the past, it may be tempting to table EDI “for now”, at least until after we get past Covid-19 and all its implications. I’m advocating here for exactly the opposite stance. Perhaps it's self-serving because I’ve spent my career educating and trying to advance EDI. I am a Black woman raising a Black son. So, I am not surprised but horrified by the disproportionate rates of Covid illness and death in Black and brown communities and where atrocities like the killing of Ahmaud Arbery...

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