Why is conversation so powerful? Conversation, more than any other form of human interaction, is the place where we learn, exchange ideas, offer resources and create innovation.
At Benchmark Senior Living, conversation is the lifeblood of who we are, of what we do. Good conversation matters to us because we know it’s more than just about sharing information. It’s about listening closely, actively participating, and being open to new ideas.
Recently, Benchmark’s special brand of conversation was featured in a magazine story about our dementia and memory-care program called The Harbor. Long-Term Living magazine honored us with its 2014 OPTIMA Award for The Harbor, and told a truly inspiring story about how Benchmark’s care associates connect with residents through conversation. (We especially like the beach memory discussion!)
That’s just one story, and there are many others. Here are a few things you can do to launch and have great conversations.
Asking questions can minimize assumptions and try to probe in a constructive way the perspective of another person. Explore what others think with open-ended questions.
Use candor and respect in communicating with people. Communicate with people what they need to hear instead of what someone might want to hear.
ASK FOR HELP
Invite people to help you. Be willing to say: “I don’t know, and “I need help.”
BUILD ON THE INPUT FROM OTHERS
Listen carefully to people and build on their ideas.
Tell stories as part of your conversation. When you share stories, you invite people to share their own experiences. People can relate better to a story.
President and COO, Benchmark Senior Living