At the end of a speech I recently gave, a member of the audience came up to ask me a question, and half way through my reply, he began talking over the top of me. His conversation had nothing to do with the question he had asked nor the answer I was giving, instead it was a rant about him, his business, his background and how much he knew. Although when this happens in conversations most people won't make a comment, let me tell you, it's terribly annoying. This guy had no intention of listening to my answer, he just wanted the chance to talk at me. My dad always taught me if you're not interested in someone's answer, then don't ask the question. Sadly this was not a one off occurrence.
Communication is shared process. It comes from curiosity, the courtesy of listening, actually looking at the other person when they are talking or you are addressing a question to them, and being genuinely interested in having a two way conversation. Conversation is not two people exchanging statements one after the other. True conversation is not asking a question and whilst the other person is answering it, you're thinking out your next point. One of my favourite movies was The Last Samurai with Tom Cruise. There was a scene in the movie where the highest ranked samurai has a chance to sit and talk with Tom's character, Captain Algren. He feathers Cruise with questions, shows genuine interest, curiosity, passion and after each answer, takes time to think and ponder. At the end of the scene he says, "That was a very good conversation." I hope you have a very good conversation today
with someone close to you.