Are we having fewer meaningful conversations? Communication is the lifeblood of education – it’s how we convey ideas, how we innovate, and how we learn. But if we’re spending less time having deep discussions, are we missing out?

Deep, meaningful conversations, or DMCs as they’re known, differ from regular discussions. DMCs allow us to be more open and honest about our thoughts and feelings. Such conversations are hallmarks of psychologically safe environments, and valuable for educational development.

In 2019, ghost writing firm Story Terrace undertook a study to explore how the UK was communicating. Their research found some alarming trends. At the time:

– More than 1 in 5 people didn’t think their friends or family were listening when they spoke about their worries
– More than 1 in 10 said they didn’t have time for meaningful discussions with loved ones
– 1 in 10 weren’t able to remember having one conversation of value in the preceding week

That was in 2019. In 2021, things could be even worse. The pandemic has distanced us all further, causing us to rely on more impersonal methods of communication such as video calls, text messages and social media.

If Story Terrace were to undertake the same study now, you’d be inclined to think we’d be even less likely to spend time having meaningful conversations.

Meaningful conversations aren’t just important for having better relationships with friends, family and colleagues. They’re also vital for the free flow of ideas. Deeper conversations in the classroom, for example, help students to learn better – enabling them to engage with course content on a more personal level. They also encourage students to feel the confidence necessary to ask for further information, for additional help, or for clarification.

We all need to prioritise meaningful conversations – at home, at work and in the classroom. The government is easing rules around social distancing and lockdowns. It’s now time to re-connect: to learn from each other, listen to each other and move forward together.