5 thoughts on “To challenge and be challenged in conversation

  1. I like your perspective on a lot of this stuff, Chris. But I do disagree with you regarding interruptions. It's funny that you say that if you're interrupting, you feel like you're exchanging monologues. I see it as entirely the other way around.

    Since I first encountered you today via links regarding telephony, I know that you've experienced speakerphone conference calls with half-duplex service. In that environment, you *can't* interrupt the person on the other end in many cases, unless you can somehow manage to out-shout them. It becomes unbearable. There needs to be natural give and take in a genuine conversation, an ebb and flow, in order to really be communicating effectively. I find nothing more frustrating than someone soapboxing so that any time you try to slip a word in edgewise, they accuse you of interrupting them. It's not the way to come to an understanding.

    Of course if by interrupting you are referring to not only breaking in but taking over, then yes, I am with you there. It is utterly frustrating not to be able - eventually - to get out what you are trying to say. But to have to be patient while someone interjects comments or clarifications along the path, I don't have a problem with that.

  2. I happened to stumble across this post when googling "challenge someone's views" and really enjoyed it. I hadn't been aware of any research on the topic but had only experienced how unfavorably most people responded to what I only meant to be a more nuanced exchange of ideas, because I also enjoy learning from others and redefining my perspective based on a broader range of information, wherever it comes from. Many people who proclaim the universal truth of their own experience have accused me of stubbornness for being unwilling to accept the perspective borne of their experiences as being universally true for everyone. I was wondering what others might have to say about this issue. Thanks for your insightful post. It's good to know there are others who enjoy being challenged as well.

  3. Chris,

    Thank you for your very insightful and useful comments. I was searching for some assistance regarding challenging someone's perspective without making them "wrong' and was able to glean some helpful verbiage from your blog.

    Thanks you,
    Pat Holloway

  4. Thank you Chris. The point about being right stikes a cord with me. Often I have found that others become defensive when I challenge them and they back off instead of counter challenging me. I learn a lot from others and am disappointed when this happens

  5. Thanks for your post Chris. I find my views being challenged by peers and find myself being insulted and feeling disrespected. It is frustrating. But I'm thinking my attitude is all wrong, that from now on when I comment that I should be expecting challenge and be prepared to defend my assertions. People seem to interrupt with a challenge but often then try to take over the conversation which can be annoying. I fear challenge so much that I become nervous and shut down, allowing them take over even though a lot of the time their challenging statements are in fact wrong.

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