Happy New Year!
It’s a new year and a good time to help your conversations by doing a little self-reflection. How well do you know yourself? Most people think they know themselves very well. And if given enough time, I’m sure you could answer all sorts of questions about yourself. But conversations don’t work that way. In any given conversation, you have approximately three seconds to offer your opinion or personal anecdote before the conversation moves on or the participants start getting bored.
Have you ever taken an Opinion Inventory before? Your conversations will improve dramatically if you can offer faster, higher quality opinions. Try the following quick Opinion Speed Test and time how long it takes you to answer each:
- What is one of your favorite desserts?
- What’s your biggest pet peeve?
- If you could only read one more book, what would it be?
- What new technology would you like to see?
- What’s your favorite car?
- Who would make a great president?
- What’s the best place to visit in your town?
Did you need to spend more than three seconds thinking about each question before you could answer? If yes, you’ll benefit from spending time filling out an Opinion Inventory. The work you put in now will benefit every future conversation.
Opinion Inventory Worksheet
List THREE FAVORITES and ONE LEAST FAVORITE
For example, my three favorite dinners:
1.Corned Beef & Cabbage, 2. Pizza, 3. BBQ Pulled Pork
Lease favorite dinner: Greek Salad.
Current TV shows:
Older TV shows:
Places to live:
Physical traits (self):
Physical traits (attracted to in others):
Bonus Section: Things
Three things I despise:
Three things I love:
Three things I’m good at:
Three things I’m bad at:
Three things I wish I could do:
Three scariest things:
Three coolest things:
Three funniest things:
Three grossest things:
Extra challenge 1. Go back and explain WHY they are your favorite or least favorite!
Extra challenge 2. Go back and think of superlatives for each – think of the best, biggest, longest, tastiest, coolest, most frustrating, most enjoyable, etc.
Unfortunately, a lot of opinions aren’t easily categorized into nice lists. Opinions about other people and the nuances of human behavior constitute a large area ripe for opinions. For example:
- I think all kids should join at least one sport.
- Aunt Betty has a crazy laugh.
- The project at work should be managed by Bill instead of Bob
- I think my girlfriend should keep her hair long.
- Justin’s probably going to be late.
- Your cat is not going to enjoy getting his flea medicine.
- You always make the best cookies.
- You’re going to love the new coffee they have now.
Hopefully you are able to spend some time on improving your opinions.
Remember, your future conversations will benefit from the work you put in now.