Thursday, 28 March 2013

How to have a great conversation with anyone

The foundation to every social interaction is being able to hold good conversation. Without this ability, getting past small talk and building stronger connection is something almost impossible. The art of conversation takes practice, and is not as hard as you might think. It will take some knowledge, practice, and patience, and you can learn to relax and enjoy a great conversation.

With these tips you will be well on your way to having a good, meaningful and entertaining conversation with anyone!
  • Make a good first impression. Smile, ask questions that require more than a yes/no answer, and really listen. Maintain eye contact and keep as friendly and polite as possible.
  • Learn to listen. This is the most important part of any conversation. You might think a conversation is all about talking, but it will not go anywhere if the listener is too busy thinking of something to say next. Pay attention to what is being said. When you talk to the other person, injecting a thought or two, they will often not realize that it was they who did most of the talking, and you get the credit for being a good conversationalist – which of course, you are!
  • Ask meaningful questions. Don't just ask question for the sake of asking question, it's not an interrogation, To have a meaningful conversation with the other person, ask meaningful questions. Choose questions like, “What drives you in life?”, “What are your goals for the next year?” and “What inspired you to make this change?” over “What did you do yesterday?” and “What are you going to do later?”.
  • Have an opinion. Nobody wants to talk to someone who agree to anything. They want to talk to someone with heart, passion, and who has something unique to say. Never be afraid to speak your mind or hide who you are. Always express your beliefs and your opinions openly. That doesn't mean you should go and start arguing for no reason, but start up for what you believe in. You should not be afraid of what other people will think, or else you’ll never be your real self. People that will like you for who you are are the ones you want to connect with, right.
  • Practice active listening skills. Part of listening is letting the other person know that you are listening. Make eye contact. Nod. Say “Yes,” “I see,” “That’s interesting,” or something similar to give them clues that you are paying attention and not thinking about something else – such as what you are going to say next.
  • Help others think. Being a good conversationalist typically means you’ll be being a bit demanding of others, intellectually speaking. People prefer to talk about themselves, and conversationalists are talented at getting others talking about themselves, but people sometimes need a little help to avoid getting confused, frustrated, or worn out. Helping the people they’re conversing with to think more easily is one of the ways a conversationalist gets people talking more about themselves than they do when talking with others, and it helps prevent the person he’s talking to end up in a conversation that feels mentally taxing or draining.
  • Know when the conversation is over. Even the best conversations will eventually run out of steam or be ended by an interruption. Shake hands with the other person and be sure to tell them you enjoyed talking with them. Ending on a positive note will leave a good impression and likely bring them back later for more!
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