Seth Godin – Conservation of energy in conversation [Communication]

Conservation of energy in conversation

If you escalate (cut off in traffic, angry at the gate agent, frustrated at your boss), you’ve just added (negative) energy to a conversation.

If you escalate (high-pitched enthusiasm, a hug, encouraging words), you’ve just added (positive) energy to a conversation.

Once the energy is added, it has to go somewhere. Often, the person you’re engaging with throws it right back, or even increases it. A talented, mature person might take your negative energy and de-escalate it, or even swallow it and permit the conversation to calm down or end. But don’t count on it.

Sure, you can ‘win’ a conversation by overwhelming your opponent with energy they can’t handle. But of course, they’re not your opponent and you don’t really win. Being aware of the energy you add or take from interactions is a sophisticated technique that radically changes the outcomes of the conversations that fill your day. Add the good stuff, absorb the bad stuff and focus on the outcomes, not the bravado.

2 thoughts on “Seth Godin – Conservation of energy in conversation [Communication]

  1. With my yoga teaching, often in the medium to advance classes there is talk about energy levels and “yamas and niyamas”. Parts of it is analogous to what Seth is saying. If anyone is interested I could elaborate at a future date.

  2. I often don’t pay enough attention to energy until I realize that I’ve taken too much negativity in, and given away a lot of my energy to people who don’t particularly care. I’m a highly intense, energetic person, and I’d like to take greater responsibility for my energy and how it affects others. I could also stand to learn when to tone it down, and when and how to protect myself from negative energy and energy drainers. This is a challenge for me as I LOVE to share (overshare, much?) and have a hard time protecting myself energetically. I had an energy healing once where the healer (my mom) described my energy field as porous. That didn’t sound like a good thing…

Leave a Reply