Are you trying to connect better with those you love or those you’re just meeting? Learn more about these 7 tips to have a better conversation…
In order to converse, network, and build rapport with others, you need to be able to hold a conversation freely, confidently, and briefly – showing those around you that you’re clever, in-control, and self-assured. But most importantly, that you care about other people and building strong relationships.
Today, we are so engulfed in our technology that we’re beginning to lose our ability to hold a conversation face-to-face with others. We also find ourself only promoting our thoughts and feelings instead of discussing and understanding one another.
Take the time to read these seven tips and try them at your next lunch with a colleague or friend.
1. Listen & Be Brief
The core foundation of every conversation involves active listening. It’s the hardest thing to do, but definitely the most important.
Buddha once said, “if your mouth is open, you’re not learning.”
People are absolutely obsessed with talking instead of taking the time to listen to others. You’re the one in control when you’re talking. You don’t have to listen to anything you don’t want to, you are the center of attention, and you can strengthen your own identity.
Remember, you listen to understand, not just reply.
Don’t tie other’s up in a conversation knot for hours when you do get the chance to respond. No one likes to be talked at or made to feel as though anyone could easily be sitting in their listening position.
Keep your responses and stories short enough to retain interest and long enough to cover the subject. Leave the dates, years, and names out of the conversation.
2. No Multitasking
Doing something else while someone is trying to have a conversation with us is not only difficult but disrespectful.
It shows the talking party that you really don’t care what they have to say. What you’re doing at the present moment is more important than what they have to say.
Stop scrolling mindlessly through social media or your old text messages when someone is trying to connect with you.
Learn to be present and in the moment. No more thinking about what you’re making for dinner or old arguments you’ve had with your spouse.
If you want out of the conversation, tell them you want out. Don’t be one foot in and one foot out.
3. Use Open-Ended Questions
Continuing to pop-off questions that only require yes or no answers will lead to a much shorter conversation with simple answers.
Let the person you’re conversing with describe what they’re talking about by asking, “what did that feel like?” or “how did it go?”
This will give them a moment to stop and think and give you a better chance to get a more interesting response.
4. Go With The Flow Of The Conversation
Thoughts will flow into your mind that are completely off topic and unrelated to what you’re talking about at the moment. Allow the conversation to flow towards those topics or let them go from your mind.
Stories, ideas, and opinions will come to you and sometimes the best thing to do is just forget about them.
5. Try Not To Repeat Yourself
Repeating yourself is condescending, it’s boring, and many people tend to do it. Especially in work conversations or conversations with children.
You have a point to make, but rephrasing it over and over isn’t going to help you.
6. Similar Experiences Doesn’t Mean The Same Experience
If they’re talking about how hard it is to lose a family member, don’t begin talking about when you lost someone you loved. If they’re talking about how hard work is, don’t tell them how much you hate your job and wish you could be somewhere else.
Every experience is individual and more importantly – it’s not about you. Conversations are not a promotional opportunity to speak about how much you’ve suffered in the past or how amazing you are.
7. Don’t Pontificate
True listening requires you set aside your personal opinion for a little bit. If you are less aggressive and ease back on your personal agenda, the speaker is more likely to open up about what’s really on their mind.
In every conversation, you should try to focus on learning something new about the person speaking and allowing them to show you who they really are without pushback or arguments.