4 Thanksgiving Conversations

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”

~ Marcel Proust

4 Thanksgiving Conversations

By Loren Ekroth

When you get together as family and friends for Thanksgiving, you are so busy that you may not make room for talk. Hustle and bustle in the kitchen can be exciting but hardly allows for deeper talk.

Here are 4 conversations to consider having this Thanksgiving:

1.  Make time for a walk with an elder for a slower, less hectic quality talk.  Or draw aside an elder, perhaps an aunt or uncle, for a rich conversation.  Ask them about most memorable Thanksgivings of times past.  Ask them about their lives.  Show real interest.

2. Phone someone you’ve needed to thank for their friendship and support.  A teacher?  A pastor?  A coach?  An old friend?  Perhaps in a quieter time during Thanksgiving week you’ll think of various persons who have known you and helped you.

My old friend Professor Sheron Dailey sent me this quotation:

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.”  (Anonymous)

Take time to contact such an old friend and thank that person.

3. Circle the family for story-sharing.  Set aside an hour that allows your family or friends to share stories of their lives. You can record these if you wish and send the CDs or DVDs to those who couldn’t attend your gathering.

Or, to set the tone for the gathering, bring your guests together and with one person acting as a scribe, ask everyone to mention what they’re thankful for this year.  Use a flip-chart or a white board to list their items. You may get hundreds of gratitude items in a half-hour.

Note: I have created a low-cost “Better Family Conversation Kit” available on my Conversation Products page at www.conversationmatters.com. It’s downloadable, and it’s rich in ideas.

4. Record your elders for posterity.  With an audio recorder or a camcorder, you can easily record your elders one at a time in the manner perfected by Storycorps.org. You can find many intriguing questions at the Storycorps site. Then, for example, you can find a quiet, private place to turn on the recording equipment and ask questions that draw out many interesting stories.

I’ve often had people tell me regrets like this: “I wish I’d asked my grandfather about his experience emigrating to the U.S. from Latvia. Now he’s gone, and I’ll never know.” You can avoid those regrets by recording these interviews at your family gatherings.

Best wishes to you all for a warm and grateful Thanksgiving!

From “Better Conversations” newsletter by Loren Ekroth.  Reprinted with permission. Copyright 2012. All Rights reserved. Dr.  Ekroth is creator of information products to improve conversation, such as “Small Talk Success Tips” and a free newsletter at www.ConversationMatters.com.

Coaching Call To Action

Remember my 91 year old mother I spoke of in Don’t be a Hero! Why It’s All Right To Ask For Help?  One of the suggestions that came from my family was to record her telling stories so we have these memories in her voice.  What conversations will you have this Thanksgiving to make it the most memorable one you’ve ever had?

What’s New?

Thursday, November 29, 2012 – 9 am to noon  EST
Pounce on a Project IV

You have 1.5 more months to complete the goals you created for 2012. What project would you like to get on top of and accomplish this month that will help you hit those goals? Come to Pounce on a Project IV – – 2012.

Join me on Thursday, November 29th, from 9:00 a.m. to noon Eastern. We will join as a group by phone and declare what you want to accomplish: marketing calls to hit your numbers, adding a shopping cart to your website, or cleaning your office so you can find the goals you created in January.

During the morning, the group will gather by phone a few times to check progress and get any support needed to finish with a bang. At noon, the group will celebrate their accomplishments. Who says projects have to be boring and tedious? Bring your lightness and fun and join us for energy and focus.

To sign up or learn more, call or e-mail me by noon on Wednesday, November 28th. Feel free to share this with friends and co-workers, the more the merrier. (Cost of the program is only the cost of long distance phone calls.)