10 ways to have a better conversation

10 ways to have a better conversation

Conversation is a quite important skill in your life as a human being. It has a direct impact on your success in relationships, both personal and business. So how great are you as a conversationalist. Barely 3000 professionals has included the term “conversationalist” on their LinkedIn profile (as of 13 March 2017).

Celeste Headlee (check her out on Twitter and LinkedIn or the TED talk below). Summed it up quite nicely: “There is no reasons to learn how to show you are paying attention, if you are in fact paying attention.”

Check out her 10 tips or enjoy the whole talk.

Here are the ten:

  1. Don’t multitask – be present
  2. Don’t pontificate (she suggests writing a blog instead ? ). “Assume you have something to learn” or “Everyone you will ever meet knows something that you don’t” (Bill Nye)
  3. Ask open-ended questions – start with who, what, when, where, why or how. Ask “How did that feel?”
  4. Go with the flow – whatever you think of, let it go.
  5. If you don’t know, say that you don’t know. “Talk should not be cheap”
  6. Don’t equate your experience with theirs – all experiences are individual and never the same – it is NOT about you.
  7. Try not to repeat yourself – it’s condescending and boring. How many times do you ask your colleagues the same questions e.g. “How are you?”
  8. Stay out of the weeds.
  9. LISTEN – the most important one – “If your mouth is open you’re not learning” (Buddha) – “Nobody ever listened his way out of a job” (Calvin Coolidge).
  10. Be brief – “A good conversation is like a miniskirt, short enough to retain interest, but long enough to cover the subject.”

Imagine if we all grew up to assuming everyone has something amazing hidden about themselves?

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