Taylor Buonocore-Guthrie wants to share how to have a great conversation with no agenda, but only to connect and learn from others.
She’s a conversation facilitator and co-founder of Convers(ate), offering facilitation services to spark learning and connection.
Lot of great lessons in our conversation including:
- How Taylor defines what it means to be a “facilitator”.
- How technology has adversely impacted our conversations.
- Making conversations less transactional by practicing “beginner’s mind”.
- Suggestions on how to start a conversation with a stranger.
Life Skills That Matter In This Episode
- Build community.
- Self-directed learning.
- Tell your story.
How Taylor Works and Thinks
- Wake up time: Around 6:00 am
- Core work activities + habits: 1) Doing prep calls with clients to understand their goals and tailor questions to them. 2) Designing the sessions to reflect the goals of the client. 3) Leaning into the follow-up with clients after their sessions to capture takeaways and share them back with the group.
- Ideal work environment: In the corner of her bedroom where she created her small home office, using the corner of a desktop, and ideally having a view outdoors or being outside.
- Superpower: Creating a warm and welcoming environment where people feel guided, but with so much warmth that they feel comfortable being themselves and speaking authentically.
- Definition of success: Leaning into the areas where she feels most excited when she’s done a good job, which is usually seeing folks, after completing a facilitation session, having made connections or learned something.
“My focus is on making conversations easier to have.”
“It’s like the original exchange of ideas, I mean, the original idea forum is conversation.”
“It’s not always about convincing people of your way, sometimes it’s really nice to just listen, absorb, observe, and understand what’s happening elsewhere.”
“I was craving the ability to build something from scratch.”
“It feels much more authentic, to me, to have conversations about business after I’ve been able to lean into my curiosity just about them as a person.”
Feeling uncomfortable about talking with people you don’t know? Taylor suggested these steps to start feeling more comfortable in starting those conversations both online and offline
1) Have a question that feels special and authentic for you to ask, that you’re genuinely interested in knowing about someone.
2) Have beginner’s mind conversations that have no obvious utility.