Ways to Have a Better Conversation.

A conversation requires a balance between talking and listening and somewhere along the ways, we’ve lost that balance. Part of that is due to technology smartphones. Most teens are likely to prefer texting their friends rather than talking to them face to face.

Throughout your life you’re going to have conversations with people that you will like, dislike, agree and disagree with but the key is to leave knowing you had an engaging conversation. Walk away feeling engaged, inspired, like you made a real connection and were understood.

  • Don’t multitask. Be present in that moment. Stop thinking about what you’re going to have for dinner tonight. Don’t be half in or out of the conversation. If you want out, get out. Don’t waste your time or theirs.
  • Use open-ended questions. Start with who, what, where, when, how and why. Ask questions they can elaborate on and not just a straightforward yes or no answer.
  • Don’t equate your experience with theirs. If they are talking having lost a family member, it isn’t your cue to talk about when you lost a family member. Remember it is not about you.
  • Try not to repeat yourself. It’s condescending and boring.
  • Keep the details to a minimum. Keep it brief because a specific timeline isn’t so important. What people care about is you, how you feel and who you are.
  • Listen! If your mouth is open you’re not listening. Most of us don’t listen with the intent to understand, we listen with the intent to reply. So, make sure you are fully listening and hearing the person out.