Contrary to popular belief, being a good conversationalist is very less about talking and much more about listening and asking.
Research shows, listening and asking questions, endears you to people. They see you as ‘likeable’ and ‘open minded’. They open their minds and share their beliefs. As the wise Dalai Lama says, “When I talk, I just repeat what I already know. When I listen, there are chances of me learning something new.”
To have great conversations, here are our off the cuff suggestions…
1) Stop thinking about what you want to say and focus on what someone is saying.
2) Second, listening isn’t about keeping quiet. Listening is having no wish to say anything at that moment. There’s a difference here. When I merely keep quiet, a part of me is still thinking about what I want to say. Even if I am not saying it aloud, I am saying it in my head! When I am thinking about my response, I am at best half listening to what you are saying.
3) Be curious and ask to hear more about what interests you in what they were saying.
4) Do not interrupt. Do not disagree. Do not “evaluate”. Understand!
5) Nod your head, and make acknowledging comments like ‘I see’, ‘interesting’ etc
6) Without being awkward, share the gist of what YOU understood from what they said.
7) Inquire. Ask questions that show you have been paying attention and move the discussion deeper.
Soon, you will be a sought after listener. Your social capital will increase.
Enjoy the journey.
With love, prayers and exceptional wishes,
Imagine, when we wake up, we are given only what we had thanked for.
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