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A scientist's guide to life: how to be a better conversationalist

https://www.sciencefocus.com/science/a-scientists-guide-to-life-how-to-be-a-better-conversationalist/

sciencefocus.com

A scientist's guide to life: how to be a better conversationalist
First, understand what counts as 'better'. A better conversation is one where there is minimum friction, misunderstanding and repetition, and maximum alignment between both parties. Some people are naturally good conversationalists, others less so. My job is to collect conversations from 'the wild', and then analyse them to see what's effective and what isn't.

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Better conversations

Better conversations

They're usually the conversations with minimum friction, repetition and misunderstanding, and maximum alignment between the people that take part in it.

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A good communicator

A good communicator

Good communicators:

  • They are very good at listening
  • They see how the other person is reacting and fir their responses accordingly
  • They make space for the other person to make productive contributions.

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What to avoid

What to avoid
  • Don't start conversations with aggressive or challenging statements.
  • See the difference between arguments that do and don't matter and let the insignificant things go.

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Dealing with cold callers

Dealing with cold callers

If you don’t recognize the number, you can choose not to answer the call.

If you choose to answer, try to be concise, but nice with cold callers. They spend their days dealing with people who don’t want to talk to them.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Crises Can Confuse Communication

Failing in communication can have a big impact during a crisis. Sometimes things that are transparent to one party may be interpreted differently by another. Therefore, choosing certain words ...

Talking vs Speaking

During a crisis, using the word "talk" to begin a conversation, "Can we talk about how you are?" often gets a negative response. The reason is that we place little value on "talk." Talk is cheap or meaningless. However, substituting the word with "speak", seems to have better results.

"Talk" is loaded with context that makes it fruitless in these scenarios, while the word "speak" is free from those associations.

Being Willing

The principles for a positive and constructive discussion are framing your conversation in positivity.

By framing conversations to focus on the positive, one can move a problem forward.

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Conversational Narcissism

Is to seek to hold the attention of a conversation on oneself. It occasionally manifests on the average person when we pretend to be listening, but we were really focusing on what we wa...

Active Listening

Is to not judge or analyze what the person is saying at first. Just focusing on listening and trying to understand their perspective.

The Three Components of Active Listening

  1. Paraphrase: Consists of repeating at the speakers a summary of what they say, so they feel understood.
  2. Inquire: Obtain all the information that is relevant to the resolution of the issue.
  3. Acknowledge: Once the issue is made clear, communicate to your counterpart that you understand it.

Asking about feelings

The act of asking an open-ended question shows that you care. “What does that feel like?” or “What has been on your mind as you’re going through this?” Then, listen non-judgmentally to ...

Willingness to understand

If someone, for instance, has received a new medical diagnosis, you can say, "It sounds like you're worried about the side effects of the treatment. Is that right?"

You can also express kindness by saying, “You’re in such a tough situation.” A facial expression is also a powerful way to show support.

Offering support

Not every person feels comforted in the same way. Acknowledge that by asking "How can I support you?"

It expresses a desire to assist without jumping in to problem-solve.