Master the Art of the Conversation the Man Evolved Way
Our use of sentences and our ability to hold a conversation are quickly disintegrating. Maybe it’s because we are so dependant on computing devices for communication, but it appears we are talking like we ‘Twitter’ and ‘Text’. I understand these tools are necessary and important, in keeping ‘the social network’ in the loop. However, this ‘digital dialogue’ is spilling over to everyday conversation.
I have chatted with people who literally gave me a series of ‘tweets’ and others who have used ‘LOL’ or ‘BTW’ in their sentences (they weren’t trying to be funny either). What is even scarier is the inability of these people to hold one thought at a time – the person vacillates between subjects (more like random thoughts) quickly and frequently. When you are ‘texting’ or ‘twittering’, you can have a million conversations at once but when you are face to face with someone, that is the only conversation you should have. A conversation should have a beginning, middle and end.
So it seems we have lost the art of the conversation. There are situations where we need to talk to someone face to face, like; on a date, at a work event, or when meeting new (real flesh and blood) people. Here are some simple advice to help you Master the Art of the Conversation.
1. Have something to talk about. One of the qualities of the Man Evolved is to have diverse knowledge and interests. The beauty of the computer is that you can gather a ‘whack’ of information quickly. Use a Reader and subscribe to a broad range of sites. I always go through Google News to get a glimpse of what is happening in the World. A quick way is to scan the headings, then move on to the articles that interests you. Another way to gather info is at a book store’s magazine section. I constantly research topics that are of general interest and depending on the function I am attending, I will focus my research.
2. Ask a lot of questions. I was told somewhere; a good salesperson is someone who asks a lot of questions. I believe this is true of a great conversationalist. When you ask questions, it shows you are interested in what the person is saying; and therefore, the person. Ask open ended questions to keep the conversation alive.
3. Use good body language. It is important to look at the person when they are talking and not be distracted by your surroundings or your Smartphone. If you maintain good eye contact, keep a relaxed posture and smile from time to time, you will be ahead of the game.
4. Express your point of view clearly and in a non confrontational tone. Its okay to disagree with someone, just don’t beat them down. Speak your mind and if you think someone misinterpreted what you’ve said, clarify immediately.
5. Don’t be a know-it-all. There is nothing worst than a know-it-all in my opinion. If you have a great deal of knowledge on something, don’t speak to others like they are idiots.
6. Take some breaths and let others talk. A conversation is a two-way communication. Make sure you let others talk. It is not a lecture.
7. Have a sense of humour. This is a great way to engage the other person. A little sarcasm, a funny story about yourself or a joke is all good. Just make sure it’s not offensive.
LOL and TTFN …