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How a great conversation is like a game of catch

Posted on by Brandon Klein

As a radio host, Celeste Headlee has engaged in her fair share of discussions, and she’s thought a lot about how to bring out the best in a conversational counterpart. One thing she likes to say: A good conversation is like a game of catch. Huh? She explains.

When you play catch, you have to do an equal number of catches and throws, right? It’s not possible to play catch with somebody and throw more than you catch, for the most part. Because then you’d just be throwing baseballs at them, which is not nice. This is the exact same ratio as a healthy conversation — you’re going to catch as much as you throw. Which means, obviously, you’re going to talk 50% percent and listen 50% percent — and we don’t generally have that balance in our conversations.