The Good Conversation
By: Pamela Cooper
My husband is my best friend. I know that is so cliché. We talk and talk and often an hour or more will pass and we realize we're still talking! I've also been in “conversations” with people where it seems like every minute is an eternity – the convo is difficult and it's just hard to converse. When the conversation is “easy” you'll likely find a fast friend, or someone you can bond easily with. But there's times you need to converse and it may be a bit more of a struggle. Using these Convo Hacks may make the conversation easier, which will make it easier to bond with the person in front of you!
Be Genuine. Be yourself, and be genuinely excited about the person in front of you! Let them know (through eye contact and body language) that they have your attention and what they're saying is worthy of your time.
Ask purposeful and thoughtful questions. Not for the sake of giving them your answer, but because you're genuinely interested in their answer. I often ask a lot of questions because I love to uncover something unique about people!
Don't be a know-it-all. You may be speaking with someone about a topic you know a lot about. It shouldn't be a competition, trying to “one up” the other person, but a conversation where you share your points of view, and you also listen to theirs.
Be present. Sometimes it's hard to not let your mind wander. Giving the person your attention shows respect. Also try to to tune out distractions (like your phone).
Body language. Have you ever tried to talk with someone who is constantly looking at their phone or won't make eye contact? It's so frustrating and makes me feel like I'm talking to a wall. Look at the person in the eye, position your body toward the person you're speaking with, and stay engaged. You don't have to be a “close talker”, just show the person you're engaged with what is being said.
Converse, not debate. It shouldn't be an argument, even if you have different points of view.
Respect. It can all be summed up by 'respect'. Respect the person in front of you and their points of view – even if they're different from yours. Respect them as a person, their time, their values, all of it.
Do you find conversations to be a natural thing for you? Do you genuinely enjoy people and what they have to say?