Careers

Communicate better

Good conversational skills are very important in building business and life success: being able to converse freely, confidently and, in most cases, briefly, signals to those around you that you’re smart, in control and self-assured. And, most importantly, that you care about other people.



Try not to repeat yourself


Frankly speaking -it’s boring.Your listener may think that you’re self-centred enough to forget that you’ve told them before. Many times. So don’t do that


Be ready to listen



Many wise people said:


Buddha, ‘If your mouth is open, you’re not learning.’

Calvin Coolidge, ‘No man ever listened his way out of a job.’

Steven Covey, ‘Most of us don’t listen with the intent tounderstand. We listen with the intent to reply.’


The hardest but the most important part of all good conversations (and life in general) is the ability to listen. If you’re able to listen, it will never be forgotten by your partners.



Don’t multitask



Sometimes we can be quite busy, thinking about things which bother us. But while having a conversation, please, be respectful. If you want to get out of the conversation, get out of the conversation but don’t be half in it and half out of it.



Use open-ended questions



Try on the shoes of a journalist.Ask questions, whichrequire wide responses, like, ‘What was that like?’ ‘How did that feel?’ Liven up the conversation with open-ended questions and you’re guaranteed a more interesting response.



Don’t pontificate



Remember, that conversation is something between two or more people. It’s not a monologue. Be ready to hear different opinions and learn something new. Everyone you will ever meet knows something that you don’t.



Go with the flow



Let your thoughts come and go.Interjection is fine –if it helps reinforce a point for the person talking, if it’s short and it doesn’t derail the thought process of the speaker but don’t forget to give someone else the space to tell a story. That’s called listening. Listen, react and keep moving with the conversation.



If you don’t know, say you don’t know



There’s nothing worse than being caught out in a lie and admitting that you don’t know something doesn’t make you look dumb –it makes you look honest. Don’t make your talk cheap.



Don’t equate your experience with others



You may have gone through similar things to your colleagues or friends but we all have different experience. Everyone is unique in their situations.



Stay out of the weeds



People usually don’t care about little details like names, dates, etc. Try to interestyour listener with more general image, your feeling and impressions.



Be brief



This one speaks for itself. No one likes people who tie others up in conversational knots for hours. There is a nice quote: ‘A good conversation is like a miniskirt; short enough to retain interest, but long enough to cover the subject.’



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