Hearing multiple things

Craig Constantine and Jesse Danger explore navigating multiple topics gracefully, leveraging listening as a tool, and the nuanced dance of giving and receiving information.

Craig and Jesse discuss the intricacies of handling conversations that veer into multiple directions simultaneously. They ponder the challenges and strategies involved when participants in a conversation introduce several topics at once, emphasizing the importance of active listening as a critical response in such scenarios.

I often signpost. So Jesse says ‘a’ and ‘b’ and ‘c’ and throws all these things at me, and then I grab ‘b’ and I start talking about it. I often try to end with, “and I think I missed a lot of other things that you threw at me, Jesse.” I’ll at least raise a semaphore [that] I’m aware that I only did one, sorry. I think that may go a long way just because that’s the same type of behavior—or it comes from the same type of intention—as listening.

~ Craig Constantine (3:40)

Craig suggests that encountering multiple threads often signals a greater need for him to listen attentively, rather than attempting to contribute equally across all topics. This approach, he believes, allows for a deeper engagement with the conversation by prioritizing understanding over speaking.

The thing I do is latch on to either, whatever I’m most curious about, or more often, whatever kind of bothers me the most. If someone has a list of things that are bothering them then I’ll hop right into the one that’s not quite right. And I feel like that can really shut the conversation down.

~ Jesse Danger (2:00)

Jesse shares his tendency to focus on aspects of the conversation that either pique his curiosity or bother him the most, acknowledging that this approach might sometimes prematurely shut down the dialogue.

On the other hand, they discuss ways to acknowledge the multiple facets of a conversation without necessarily addressing each one immediately. This method involves explicitly recognizing the topics introduced by the other person, thereby validating their contributions and indicating a willingness to engage, albeit with a focused approach. Jesse and Craig explore the idea that effective conversation management requires a balance between guiding the dialogue gently and allowing the natural flow of topics, driven by the participants’ interests and passions.


Nonviolent Communication (NVC) — https://www.cnvc.org

Say What You Mean — by Oren Jay Sofer, https://www.orenjaysofer.com/


(Written with help from Chat-GPT.)