We have all experienced misunderstandings, the moment when a conversation gets stuck and instead of talking with each other, we are talking at each other – and, quite frequently, the exchange heats up, voices are raised, and sentiments are expressed which we will regret later.

Why does this happen?

Does this scenario sound familiar? These breakdowns can be caused by prejudices, unconscious emotions, unexpressed expectations, cultural differences, or stress. These in turn are often based on false assumptions and/or stereotyping, and misunderstandings often reinforce them in a vicious cycle.

Wouldn’t it be powerful if we could break this cycle?

One way of doing this is by slowing the conversation down to allow the speaker to reflect on what they are about to say and keeping it slow to allow the listener to reflect on what it is they have heard.

In essence this is what SlowTalk is about.

Of course, this requires a safe space in which to have an open and honest conversation. Of course, it requires respect for one another and a willingness to be vulnerable and learn. Of course, a little patience is useful. And, of course,

. . . it can be learned.

If you now think, “Well, this sounds interesting, but it isn’t for me” because you are looking for a quick fix—a magic method or a tested technique to allow you to communicate efficiently and effectively—here are three questions for you:

  • How many methods and techniques have you learned by now?
  • And how many do you actually use?
  • Have they consistently helped you to overcome misunderstandings?