One tip to being a better conversationalist

Being in the role of the pastor means that there are a great deal of times in which I am engaged in conversation. While practicing the art (and it is an art) of conversation, it is becoming clear to me there is one thing that we all can work on in our conversation skills which really can help conversation move along and be fruitful.

Conversational narcissism is something that was recently commented on at Barking Up the Wrong Tree. Frankly I wanted to expand on this just a bit.

Sometimes when we are in conversation, it is helpful to ask a question which you already know the answer to. You might be thinking, this is a great idea! This gives me a chance to talk about a subject that I know about or it will give me a chance to correct people's knowledge and show others how much I really know! 

This is not the point. I would submit that to sometimes ask the question that you already "know" the answer to, not only moves conversation along and provides follow up questions, but it also gives the other person the practice of sharing what they too know. When we give others a chance to share what they know we build up the other. 

But here is the kicker, when we ask questions that we "know" the answer to, we may come to discover that we in fact did not know the answer and come away from the conversation learning something that we did not know but thought we did. And when we discover that what we thought we knew was only in part to what reality is, then we get to practice humility. 

Asking the question that we "know" the answer to might in fact reveal that we do not know much at all.

Are you open to learn something that you thought you already knew?