8 Tips to Build A Better Conversation
In the world we live in today, it is so important to be able to communicate effectively. Unfortunately, it seems as if we are getting worse and worse at communicating in person. There are several problems that contribute to this. However, a lot of the problems such as technology can be used in a positive way if you understand how to use it effectively.
Technology is a great tool and most of the younger generations are using it to stay connected with friends and family all over the world. This habit of communicating can become a problem, especially when they have to communicate with someone in person. The same people who can communicate effectively via technology don't always feel comfortable holding a conversation in person. This can be a huge problem when we get in a room one on one with a coach who is recruiting us or a potential company trying to hire us, and we don’t know the most basic ways to communicate. Now, if this Coach/Boss was to text us from another country or state we would have no problem. But, it is the face-to-face communication that we are struggling with.
Here are few tips that will help us all in communicating:
1. Listen: This is the most important skill you can develop. It takes effort and energy to actually pay attention to someone. Picture what the speaker is saying by creating a mental image of their words. By doing this, you will remember 75% of the information that you hear.
"Most of us don't listen with the intent to understand. We listen with the intent to reply." - Stephen Covey
2. Conversation Threading: Every sentence there are different topics you can branch off to. This is the single most important skill in having a conversation with anyone. Always be looking for bits and pieces of someone else’s sentence that you can branch off to, in order to keep the conversation flowing.
3. The Mix of Statements and Questions: Now I am not saying don’t ever ask questions. But too many people go in “interview mode” where they just bombard the other person with questions. It can be overwhelming for the other person and it doesn’t offer any information about you. Mix it up, with statements and questions.
4. Be Efficient: All about quality. Remove filler words. Um, I guess, well, you know, uh. They literally add no value. You want to talk efficiently and intelligently and these filler words are very easy to use but not efficient or useful in any way.
5. Use Pauses Instead of Filler Words: A pause can be powerful and can emphasize an important part of the message. This is something I have learned as I got older. It takes some serious practice but if you can replace those filler words with pauses or even a pause on an important topic it adds tremendous value.
6. Humor: This one is obvious. Everyone likes to be around and talk with someone who has a great sense of humor.
7. Story Telling: People love to hear stories. Personal stories can be a great way to build rapport.
8. Deep Conversation: I am a person who doesn’t like to just small talk. But, I am all for individuals who have a desire to talk about new ideas or things that they are passionate about. That is when you walk away from a conversation feeling really good!
Again, technology can provide a great platform for you to be able to communicate with others. But, please find a balance of spending some time in quality face-to-face communication. Doing that will help you develop skill sets to effectively communicate with a coach, teacher or supervisor.