A picture of a fork that explains how to communicate effectively during holiday gatherings

Use Your Fork – Your Holiday Conversation Prompt

Simple visual prompts can help you better navigate your interactions with colleagues and family members this Holiday Season.

Why not consider using a simple tool that use everyday? Use your fork.

 Yes, indeed.

 Yes indeed. I started to think about how this simple, elegant tool can provide some timely lessons during my post-Thanksgiving Day commute to New York City. Here’s a few points that came to mind.

“Never eat more than you can lift” has been Faith Middleton’s go to catchphrase for years on her NPR podcast “The Food Schmooze” I know that I for one took full advantage of my Thanksgiving Dinner host’s terrific cooking and definitely felt the effects on my waist band on Friday.

Then I realized that this expression can also serve us well regarding how we handle our Holiday conversations. We don’t always know what’s happening in another’s life and what is affecting their ability to listen and engage. Let’s consider sharing small bites of information, before launching into a weighty topic. Indulging in small talk can be a trust building and restorative experience.

It’s also important to be observant and watch for clues that perhaps our topic of conversation was ill chosen and that it may be time to “Stick a fork in it” and end that serving of conversation.  

Work on letting go of the need make your point home, and be right is a lesson worth learning. I know that this takes a lot of practise and vigilance. If you find yourself getting “stuck” ask yourself – Why?  

Move on graciously {figuratively or literally” Give the other person some space. A person’s ability to listen is greatly improved when they feel respected and heard.  

Lessons worth learning are not always learned at one sitting.

 When we use our fork, we are making a choice to select the food item we’d like to eat and the pace at which we consume it. We can do the same things with our words. 

Developing a sense of self-control and reasonable expectations in social settings will help you increase your confidence confidence. Remember that good conversations are as much about active listening than they are about hearing the sound of our own voices. Do a self-check before an event and be patient with others and yourself.

Enjoy your opportunities to gather during the Holidays.  If you happen to drop your fork, no worries. Click on the link to find out what it means.