I talk to people every day and I am quite sure you do too. Sometimes it is for work and other times it is for fun. For me, constructive conversations are the best because that is where you get to learn a lot about people’s perspectives. Life itself is all about having conversations. Whether in the market, in the workplace, in the bank or on the street, we must have these conversations to allow ourselves to learn and grow.
The major challenge, however, is not looking for opportunities to have these conversations since they are readily available. Even when they are not, one can easily start one in today’s world of social media. Actually, the main challenge is to have conversations the right way. To get the most out of every conversation, certain rules must be adopted. There are no official or set-in-stone rules so the following tips are casual of course.
Personally, I have used them and my conversations have improved immensely and are now more meaningful.
When having a conversation, always try your best to be present. I know this might be the hardest to pull of and that is why it is the first on this list. To be honest, smartphones and social media have ruined conversations for everybody. Nowadays when you are talking to someone, it almost like your words are falling on deaf ears as people get caught up in their social media zones. People now prefer to look right into their phones while having conversations instead of creating engaging moments. To become part of the movement to change things up, stop multitasking whenever you are having a conversation unless of course the conversation is not meaningful and you have to move on. Again you don’t want to make the person you are talking with feel like their opinions are invalid, so stop multitasking and engage.
Every conversation is an opportunity to learn so go into them assuming you have something to learn. Doing this helps you set aside your personal prejudice. Not just that, it also helps you have an open mind which will then help you come up with a meaningful contribution to the topic under discussion.
Use open-ended questions
When having conversations especially during interviews you want to ask questions that will force your partner to expatiate. The reason for this is simple, you want to explore and understand all the sides to a conversation. Also, the way to do this is simple; by asking who, what, why, where and how questions.
Go with the flow
Inasmuch as you want to take as much as possible from every conversation you also don’t want to be having rigid conversations. In this case, your mind is a regulator of thoughts and all you have to do is think, filter, and release – let the conversation take a back-and-forth format. This way ideas are exchanged, things are learned and everybody is happy.
If you don’t know, say that you don’t know
You don’t know “every every” and you really don’t have to claim to know everything. If you don’t know something about a topic then say you don’t know. At any given point in time always be accountable for the things you actually you know. For the things you don’t know, listen, learn and ask questions.
Don’t equate your experience with others:
For instance, someone talks about the loss of a family member, you don’t talk about your bad day at work. It is not the same thing – and it will be apathetic of you to always equate your experiences with that of others. Bring up your experiences as they become valid to the discussion in question. Not everything is about you.
Don’t repeat yourself, don’t rephrase your points
When talking with someone make sure you are not just repeating yourself over and over again. This is literally a big deal breaker. If you have something to say go straight to the point and hit the nail on the head of the lizard.
This point is self-explanatory. Be brief with your points. Period.
This is the most important skill to master in life and in conversations. When you listen you learn so keep your mind open and be prepared to be amazed.