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How to become a better conversationalist

https://www.fastcompany.com/90287138/how-to-become-a-better-conversationalist#

fastcompany.com

How to become a better conversationalist
Whether you love or hate networking, there's no doubting the importance of face-to-face interactions. Even in our digital world, knowing the art of the conversation is key to building strong relationships. Being a good conversationalist can help you make a lasting impression.

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Mindsets around new conversations

Go into a situation where you will need to speak with people with the mindset of, "I am curious and I want to learn more about other people", rather than going into it with the mindset of, "Oh no, I’m going to have to talk about myself a lot".

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Listen with intent

Listen with intent

The best conversationalists aren’t those who always have witty things to say, but those who are genuine listeners. 

Good listeners don’t just listen with their ears, but with their whole body. They lean into the conversation, establish eye contact, and provide their undivided attention to the person they’re speaking with.

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Ask open-ended questions

Ask open-ended questions

Those that require more than a “yes” or “no” answer, are the best type of questions to ask if you’re looking to establish common ground. 

Just be careful not to overdo your questioning. You don’t want the other person to feel like they’re being interrogated.

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Avoid oversharing

Keep your personal anecdotes short and sweet, focusing more on the other person’s stories than your own. 

To find out if you’re speaking too much, leave out some details of the story, to see if they’re really interested in hearing more. If they don’t respond, turn the focus of the conversation to something else that might engage them more.

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Know where you stand on the introvert-extrovert spectrum

Know where you stand on the introvert-extrovert spectrum
  • If you’re an extrovert and find yourself talking too much, try to shift the focus on asking more questions. 
  • If you’re an introvert, ask yourself whether you’re speaking enough and giving the other person enough information about yourself to help them feel connected to you.

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Thin-Slicing

Studies have found that we not only decide if we like someone in the first few seconds, but also that the first impression stays with us.

Thin-slicing is when we take a mental snapshot of someone...

Self-Evaluation

Choose ONE word from this list of adjectives or pick your own to fill in the blank. When people first meet me, they think I am_____

  • Charismatic or boring
  • Outgoing or shy
  • Kind or judgmental
  • Intelligent or weird
  • Open or closed
  • Powerful or weak
  • Engaging or odd
  • Professional or casual

Did you pick a positive word? Or a negative word? You have to know where you stand now to move to where you want to be.

Ideal Firsts

How can you ensure people are judging you accurately and also seeing your best side? 

The most important thing to do for giving a good impression is to set your intention. Right now pick your ideal first impression word. When people first meet me, I want them to see me as_______.

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Leverage Social Media

Leverage Social Media

Social media is an incredibly powerful tool for personal branding. 

  • Your up-to-date profiles can tout your skills and accomplishments for you, without yo...

Focus on Relationships

Don't pressure yourself into thinking that you need to be the center of attention or speak with a large audience.

If you continue to build one meaningful relationship at a time with the people who actually matter to you, by setting up informal meetings or coffee dates, you'll actually end up with a stronger personal brand than those people who fly around networking events engaging in endless conversations about the weather.

Expand Your Qualifications

Expanding your skills and expertise is a surefire way to solidify and improve your personal brand

Once you complete your extracurricular, make sure to post your new certification on your LinkedIn, your resume (if relevant) and your personal website to cash in on the branding payoff.

Become More Knowledgeable

  1. When you don’t understand a topic someone is talking about, don’t try to change the subject or walk away.
  2. Read a newspaper every day