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Why Good Conversations Matter


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.

Invite people to help you. Be willing to say: “I don’t know, and “I need help.”

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.

Stephanie Handelson
President and COO, Benchmark Senior Living

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Jayne Sallerson is a warm, enthusiastic and compassionate executive with a heart for working with seniors. Jayne has been in senior care for more than 20 years and she says, “I still love what I do.” At Benchmark Senior Living, Jayne now serves as Executive Vice President. A native of New England, Jayne loves to travel, meet new people, and hang out with her favorite pug, Henry.
Jayne started this blog as a way to share the many questions she and her team get every day with other people looking for answers.