TheUnemploymentDojo's Blog

The Anatomy Of The Meaningful Conversation

Posted on: September 19, 2014

Like it or not, there’s is a part of your brain called the hippo-campus that upon instant “optical facial collision” with someone, it tries to determine familiarity to someone stored in memory. Next, to reserve energy, he brain will group them based on similar appearances and experiences. The hypothesis here is that similar appearances produce similar experiences! Synapses then fire with a familiar pattern that had been placed in memory. Mark you, this process happens in less than 20 seconds!

So as an effective communicator, your first statement should “shock” and disrupt this process so quickly that the brain has no alternative but to allocate resources to paying attention.

Now this is done by being “fresh” , new and vibrant. Short of doing this, you are just another__________!

Ok you have the attention. What next? There are two main opposite and competing hormones at work. Dopamine( the happy reward excited drug!) and Epinephrine(the adrenaline combative fight or flight restlessness drug!) To maintain that same level of enthusiasm and interest you must grab their attention by giving them something new fresh and vibrant then, you must take something away so that the epinephrine is activated!(Fear of loss!, Panic mode!)

This is very very manipulative!

Now here is the kicker! Every piece of communication is manipulative! Some are more powerful than others in the sense that they illicit a faster response. For the record, if you are saying or doing something to illicit a verbal response or an action, then you are manipulating and it wouldn’t be communication then. It would be banter where you talk for the sake of vocal chords vibrations!

Steps to make communication Meaningful

  1. Start with a controversial statement or question! example :” Did you now that you are now trying to figure out if you should allocate your resources to listening to me?”
  2. Open a loop and don’t close it yet! Example: “More on that later…….”
  3. Start a parallel conversation by admitting something you wouldn’t tell anyone random but not scary enough yet!..Example ” I have been having issues with boosting my productivity for years! In between marriage,work and finances, i cant concentrate to get my projects of the ground…” (The sole intention here is to build trust!)
  4. Then ask a question (handing power back to them!) example: Do you experience the same challenges too?
  5.  Share a quick tip of how you were able to solve the problem! Make sure the focus is on the issue! NOT YOU!
  6. Ask them how they were able to resolve the issues!(trust and sharing!)
  7. Inspire them with words of encouragement! (Everyone desires validation!)( Just don’t get cocky and tell them…”I’m validating you…”   fastest way to create an enemy.)
  8. Close the opened loop in 2.
  9.  Activate the epinephrine by cutting short the conversation as you have to go because your time is limited!

Depending on intensity and depth of the conversation, there is a trade of between interest and memory activation with the dependent variable being time. You can have someone’s attention for maybe 45 to 90 minutes if your really good!(average time for a good movie) Know your trade off and pay attention to the subtle times. The above steps may deviate depending on individual and topic, but your best strategy will be to adapt to the feedback being provided in real time from gestures,facial expressions and body language!



Lee Kariuki


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Lee Kariuki
1-888-MY-ETHER ext. 04466282

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