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The communication error we all make, and how it intensifies conflict | Esther Perel | Big Think

The communication error we all make, and how it intensifies conflict
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Ever had an argument that never ends? There’s a reason for that. Esther Perel, the Belgian-born psychotherapist and author, posits that in order to be heard correctly you have to approach the other party as neutral. Too often, she says, people approach conversations with agendas and expectations. Because of this, arguments can easily fracture into two sides parroting what their talking points are without actually listening to each other. Esther says that the best way to communicate is to sincerely listen to the other person as you would want to be listened to. That might seem like simple advice, but the average person only truly listens to about three sentences or 10 seconds before preparing their own retort in their head, and blocking their conversation partner off. Esther Perel’s exciting new book is The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity.
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Esther Perel :
Esther Perel is a psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author who is recognized as one of today’s most insightful and original voices on modern relationships. Fluent in nine languages, she helms a private therapy practice in New York City and serves as an organizational consultant for Fortune 500 companies around the world. Her celebrated TED talks have garnered nearly 20 million views and her international bestseller Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence is a global phenomenon translated into 24 languages. Her newest book is New York Times bestseller The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity (HarperCollins). Esther is also an executive producer and host of the popular Audible original podcast Where Should We Begin?
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TRANSCRIPT :
Ronan Farrow: I think the most important piece of career advice I ever received was probably from my mother who used the phrase, “Be one with the target.”
And what she meant when she said that was, when you are engaging in some kind of a high stakes professional gambit, whether it’s you’re giving a speech or a presentation at work or you’re breaking a big story, if you are fully invested in the goal and it’s a greater goal than yourself it’s not about you— there’s a certain kind of armor in that, and people can attack you personally (and they certainly do attack me a lot personally) and they can try to weaponize whatever they want against you, but if you are really one with the target and you know that what you’re doing contributes to goals that are bigger than yourself and you are 100 percent off of thinking about you and your self-consciousness and your self-interest and on thinking about the problem and how you’re going to make things better through your work and communicating that to the other people involved in whatever project you’re working on, there’s no time to get mired in the “self” piece of it, in the kind of self-consciousness and the worry about self-interest that can, I think, sideline and distract.
That’s easier said than done. I don’t always live up to that, but it’s a great philosophy that I found really useful.
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