Ever wondered why some people can easily strike a conversation, engage in small talk and get others interested in what they are saying? They are skilled at the art of conversation. Good conversation skills are the backbone of a successful life. Whether it is forming new or mending old relationships, finding a job, keeping our current job secure, or eyeing that promotion, the right kind of conversation skills can make all that happen. I know I make them sound like magic, but once you become good at it you will surely hold the same opinion.
Some are naturally good at striking and holding on to a conversation, but fortunately for the rest of us, like any other skill, this can be acquired and honed over a period of time. Over 20 years of my journey as a language teacher, I find that if we are observant enough and put in the right amount of effort we can achieve anything we desire.
Below are tips to get you started:
1. Be genuinely curious and interested:
Richard Branson, owner of Virgin airlines and a successful businessman, says this about listening: “Effective listening is a skill that underpins all positive human relationships. Spend some time thinking about and developing your listening skills – they are the building blocks of success.”
Have you ever felt that most of the time when we are talking nobody is interested? Well, those nobodies feel the same. When they talk we don’t seem interested! So listen when people talk to you. Be genuinely curious about what they are sharing with you. Listening is the key to effective communication. Without the ability to listen, communication breaks down.
2. Find a common ground:
“The longer we listen to one another – with real attention – the more commonality we will find in all our lives. That is, if we are careful to exchange with one another life stories and not simply opinions” says Barbara Deming the famous feminist and advocate of non-violent social change.
It all starts from listening and then finding commonalities. Ask yourself: What do I like about this person? What part of my life can I share with him or her? How can I make a meaningful contribution to this conversation?
3. Make them feel important:
Leo Buscaglia also known as “Dr. Love,” who was an American author and motivational speaker said this: “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
When we genuinely praise people it makes ground for a more intimate relationship. I am not saying that you flatter, what I am trying to get across is that do not hesitate in communicating what you find good about them. It makes people feel special and warms the heart.
4. Be precise and honest:
“It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.” Yogi Berra. Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra was an American professional baseball catcher, manager, and coach.
Brevity and transparency automatically lead to accuracy. It also helps you define boundaries. If we indulge in too many details, the crispness and the goal of the conversation is lost.
5. Enjoy your conversation:
Greg Anderson, a current personal trainer, says “Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.”
Look at the conversation as a journey. It is the journey, which is exciting. There is so much unexpectedness and there are so many turns involved. Keep refining your skills and reinvigorating your conversations. Enjoy it!
I am sure that the next time while having a conversation, if you keep the above in my mind, you will enjoy every moment of it.
At Rosemounts, we go beyond just teaching languages. We want you to feel excited about your classes. Every class that you take with us develops your personality. Most of all we want you to have the skills and confidence to go out into the world and start meaningful conversations. Contact us to know more about our courses.