Watching a certain instructional DVD [byb] made me think about purposeful relationships and directive conversations and how that can seem awkward, and maybe a little slyly manipulative. But some people can make it seem so natural!
I think though, that it’s a matter of how much you do it. When you’ve done it too many times to count, it’ll merge with your personality – naturally.
An illustration that comes to mind is that of romantic relationships. There’s a lot more sensitive and unknown territory for people in new relationships that requires a far greater input in purposeful and directive communication. It’s not weird for things to be a little awkward sometimes. (Not that I know, but I assume this is the case.)
With old married couples though, you can see that they know each other. They have patterns that fit together. Just observing a couple leading something together at church this morning – the husband led, the wife responded – it was cute. It was calming to observe, and not awkward. There is still a lot of communication, but it’s all second nature.
Obviously, with the original scenario, it’s not like you’d suddenly know strangers very well, but you’d know well how to have wholesome meaningful conversations.
Practice. Homework. Practice again. Graduating won’t get you out of learning.