Think about some of the most important life lessons you know, think about how you overcame difficult situations, and about how you made a big decision. Chances are the platform for providing the information from these came from a conversation. You’re parents sharing their advice, your friend supporting you, and a mentor laying out your options.
It strikes me how much I gain from talking to others, how much my perspective can change, how much clearer a complex problem can become, or how much my feelings and thoughts can alter. Some people just come across as someone full of stories and knowledge and you know you could listen to them for hours on end, yet we don’t pursue it.
Ask people how they learn and they may say; by doing, by reading, by watching, by lectures (if at university). I’m not sure how many people will say they learn the most by talking to as many people are possible, yet it’s likely to be a key factor.
Conversation is interesting
A reason I think we learn so much is that we are more engaged in a conversation. Lectures, books, videos etc can be boring, let’s face it! We can lose focus, even when it is interesting simply because we aren’t engaging. By talking we are more aware and more likely to take board what is being said.
Conversation is faster
You can have answers and ideas in a heartbeat, sometimes you don’t even need to ask the right question, the other person just understands and can guide you. It can be hard to know what you need to know, right? So let someone else put the pieces together.
Conversation can be challenged
You can respond, push back, or go into more detail. Don’t understand, then you get clarification. Don’t agree, you challenge the opinion and either realise you had the wrong perspective or you help the other person reach a new viewpoint.
It’s a method of learning that we rarely actively pursue, yet it can be one of the best!