Communication – We Need to be Interested

The cruise was wonderful. It’s called Star Clippers and we highly recommend it. We were on a true clipper ship. More than 70% of its transit time among the Caribbean islands was done totally under sail.

There were 98 passengers on this 7-day cruise, enough time to get to meet most of them. Introductions to new people tended to happen at the dinner table or on one of those shore tours/excursions. They were nice people and a great many were retired.

What struck me, however, was that with so very few of them was I able to have an interesting (at least to me) conversation! They seemed to want to talk only about their own stuff, their work (current or pre-retirement), their own hobbies, their families, etc.

Now, wouldn’t you think that a married couple (us) who have run a successful leadership development firm in two countries for over 22 years–without getting a divorce in the process I might add–would strike up some curiosity in our shipmates?

Well, it did with six of them. They asked us questions. They wanted to learn more. We spent a lot of time with these folks! As the cruise went on, however, there emerged for me a growing number of other people whom I would steer clear of on deck, at the bar, and at meal time. I chose to pull back and disconnect from them because I perceived they weren’t interested in me and what I did.

So, along with a passable tan, this cruise gave me my New Year’s goal–to work on:

Giving others permission (in my mind) NOT to be interested in what I do, how I live, or what I say. At the same time, not avoiding them…too much.

We wish you a fulfilling and prosperous new year!