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

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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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

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

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

4

Key Ideas

Better conversations

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

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.

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.

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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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...

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.

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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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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