12 November 2012

The art of efficient conversation

My latest article on Aussie Mum Network is called "The Art of Efficient Conversation". You can check it out at http://www.aussiemumnetwork.com/the-art-of-efficient-conversation.html.

Thanks for reading :-)

(Edit - it is now also copied below)


I love a good story. I love using language to weave a tale. It is a craft. In my late teens, I would speak to friends, and later Hubby, for hours at a time on the telephone. My friends and I would write pages of letters or emails to each other and that was after having been at school or uni together all day. What did we have to say? Well, it wasn't about reaching a point, it was more about enjoying the process of communication.

I have always been a little wordy – verbose on an extreme day. Having children has changed all that. It is nigh on impossible to have a conversation for five minutes on the telephone without being interrupted. There is no opportunity to go off on tangents and then amble back to the point when children are around, demanding attention. Writing? That happens at night, after the children go to bed and the chores are done.

Now, in a time-poor life, conversation must be carried out as all other tasks: efficiently. But if weaving a yarn is a craft, then efficient conversation is an art. One must basically convey the maximum amount of information in the minimum amount of time – be it to a child’s teacher before class, organising something with a friend in passing, or snippets of conversation with the husband to keep the household functioning.

At first, I found it incredibly difficult. I would be cut off and the conversation would have moved on before I was anywhere near making my point. I would wonder how people managed to keep on top of what was happening with only a five minute window for catching up. In time, though, I realised that the key is efficiency. Make every word count. I am slowly figuring out what to say and when to say it. There is no opportunity for introductions, build-ups or delicacy. A direct, front-on assault is what is required. It is blunt, but that's okay.


  1. Love it! I could write how much I love it but I think there is a limit of 5000 words in a comment box...


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