Tag Archives: basic skills

Learn to talk to a human. Life Lesson #24

Learn to talk. (credit to my older, wiser brother, Stephen Porter, on the original idea here).

I speak 6 languages. Not fluently, and I have an accent in most of them. Swahili was the most recent one I learned and what a fun, challenging experience. My sixth language though? Digital media.

You may be a “digital native” . You don’t even remember Windows 95 and Compuserve. That doesn’t excuse you from this one.

I understand lol, I know that ALL CAPS IS YELLING, and I try to keep up with what the digital cultural metaphors are.

But just because you speak digital doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn to speak to people. Having a conversation is about valuing the person in front of you. At 40, I get irritated when everyone at the table keeps checking their phone. Which means that I’m often irritated at myself.

Can you have a conversation? A lengthy conversation, that’s verbal, personal and face to face?

Try it out. If you are struggling, google it. You should know how to do that, right?

Everyone is interesting #22

Everyone is interesting.

This is an idea that takes some time and some effort. Skip till tomorrow if relationships don’t interest you.

I count as good friends a number of guys who are web coders. Add in some photographers, a UN diplomat, a number of Tanzanian and Kenyan maids and housecleaners, a couple big shot pastors, a University VP with an earned PhD, a bunch of broke college students, a young lady with Down’s Syndrome, and several kids with whom I’ve played basketball. Rich and poor, urban and small town, outdoorsy and metro-chic. Black and White, Asian, Indian, Chinese.

Everyone is interesting if you aren’t the center of the world. And the twin insight is everyone likes to talk about themselves. Amazing what you can learn with a few questions and letting people talk about themselves.

Of course, there are those with whom you will connect and resonate. Others  you will have to work much harder to find that common thread. But when I start with the idea that everyone is interesting, questions become conversations. Conversations lead to friendships. And the world becomes a more interesting place.