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How to become a better conversationalist

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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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How to become a better conversationalist

How to become a better conversationalist

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

fastcompany.com

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Key Ideas

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".

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.

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.

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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Thinking before speaking and acting
  • Make sure that you speak up when you have something important to say. 
  • Take advantage of your ability to observe other people, the environment you’re in and the energy flow in the room.
  • People will pay more attention to what you say when you do speak up.
  • You probably have the ability to study things better and faster, so when you do say something make sure that it’s an eye-opener.
  • People will trust you more and thus you’ll have access to more privileged information.

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