How To Have Better Conversations!

How do YOU converse with others? Are you more a listener or a talker or both? We’ve all met people who are either shy where it’s hard to get to know them, or the opposite where they never come up for air.

I ran across a couple of Ted Talks regarding having better conversations, and they made sense. In “Having Friendships May Increase Longevity!” I mentioned different ideas of how to acquire friends, but I didn’t talk about how to have better conversations with friends or even how to start a conversation with a stranger.

Celeste Headlee is an award-winning journalist who hosts GPB Radio’s “On Second Thought,” weekdays from 9 – 10 a.m.  She recently gave a Ted Talk about 10 basic rules for having a conversations without waisting time, getting bored or offending anyone.

As we move in and out of paying attention, our conversations become light, losing much of their empathetic possibility. Our relationships start slipping into what researchers call an “absent presence.” We notice and don’t like it, but can’t seem to help ourselves.

Here are the 10 basic rules:

  1. Don’t multi task, be present and in the moment.
  2. Don’t pontificate.
  3. Use open ended questions.
  4. Go with the flow.
  5. If you don’t know, say that you don’t know.
  6. Don’t equate your experience with theirs.
  7. Try not to repeat yourself.
  8. Stay out of the weeds.
  9. Listen.
  10. Be brief.

For details on these 10 basic rules, watch the humorous and informative video below:

Malavika Varadan hosts Breakfast no 1 on City 1016, the UAE’s no 1 Bollywood radio station speaking to 1.6 million listeners. Like Celeste, she too gave a wonderful Ted Talk on the “7 Ways To Make A Conversation With Anyone”.

Here are the 7 Ways:

  1. Open the First Word Flood Gates. Just say the first word even if you are nervous. Hi, Hey, Hello!
  2. Skip the Small Talk and ask a really personal question, like where do you come from and where does your family live?
  3. Find the Me Toos!! Find something you might have in common.
  4. Pay A Unique Compliment.
  5. Ask for an opinion.
  6. Be present and make eye contact.
  7. Name, Place Animal, Thing

Click here to listen to her talk below.

What’s your best way to have a better conversation? Please leave a comment!

TOPIC: How To Have Better Conversations!

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