What aphasia can teach us about conversation – Connection is key.

Are you a good conversation partner?
Conversation, as with developing any skill, takes practice. There are simple rules to conversing; taking turns, verifying understanding, and knowing how adding gestures, facial expression and other body language helps. We each have our own style.
Conversing is infinitely more than speaking. It is often 50% about the content we are sharing and 50% about how both parties feel about the exchange. A good conversation partner helps compensate for any problems in the communication process. Doing so without taking over, putting words in others’ mouths or becoming overbearing is a delicate balance that takes attention and effort.
Improving your communication skills is all about connection. Whether this applies best to the workplace, your interpersonal relationships, or somewhere else, implementing strategies that enhance communication and strengthen human connections is a productive outcome for everyone involved.

A common goal for families dealing with aphasia is the ability have deeper conversations, ones that go beyond communicating basic needs. Since conversation is the foundation for everything in our lives, aphasia can put the glue of our relationships at risk.
People with aphasia can learn strategies to compensate for their unique set of communication problems. A holistic, comprehensive approach to life with aphasia must also focus on training conversation partners. These partners can learn adaptive communication techniques that allow for enjoyable conversations people with aphasia and their loved ones crave. Contact the Aphasia Center of West Texas to learn more about these conversation partner services.

The most important lesson aphasia can teach all of us about conversation, is to slooooow down. Just as multitasking proves to be counterproductive, rushing through the ebb and flow of conversation has the same undesired effect. Taking time to connect, slow down, and use a few adaptive techniques is key to fulfillment for everyone.