The Art of Conversation
Conversation is of the utmost importance when it comes to business relationships. A conversation can make or break a deal with certain characteristics that are much more effective, while some fall behind as unsuccessful. Let’s talk about some of the dos and don’ts when it comes to communicating with other people.
First things first, what actually works? We like staying in the positive so let’s start with some good conversation tactics
based on some great tips from Personal Excellence
- Have genuine interest: This is one of the most important things you can do! When talking to someone, you should actually care about what they have to say. Ask questions about what they do and why they do it. Having real interest in someone is a driving force in any good conversation. People want to be heard. When you make them feel like you are actually listening, they tend to be much more engaged and definitely more productive.
- Positivity at it’s finest: Focus on the positives! People do not like getting yelled at for an extended period of time (or any amount of time, really). When you talk about positive things, such as future success or goals, you are focusing on solutions. Deal with solutions rather than complains and you will see noticeable differences in the way your conversations turn out.
- Respect and no arguments: Everyone has opinions and they might not always be in line with yours. The key here is to have a calm and civil discussion about your disagreements without attacking the other person. It does not need to be one against the other, but simply a forum to openly talk about different sides of one argument. On that note, you must embrace the differences as uniqueness. It is very easy to ‘agree to disagree’ and then move on. No hurt feelings and no messy debates, only a healthy conversation, which ultimately ends in success.
- Questions are essential: You have to ask the right questions. When you bring up the tough topics, you can work together to find the right solution. Ask questions in order to discover your pain points.
Next, we should talk about what doesn’t work
. We know it’s not focusing on the positive, but want you to be able to recognize the ineffectual characteristics of certain conversations. We just learned about why that is not a characteristic of a good conversation. Let’s turn to some of things you should watch out for while talking to other people (especially in a professional setting):
- Conversation Hijacker: The sad truth of the matter is that most people only ask about you in the hopes that you will ask about them. The hijacker doesn’t care about what you have to say, they only want to talk about them. This is why genuine interest is so important—it is at the epicenter of a good and beneficial conversation.
- Negativity: We already talked about why positivity is so vital, but let’s expound on why focusing on the negative will only hinder your productivity. When you only refer to the negative things going on, you are not being solution-oriented. You can’t solve a problem when you’re only complaining about it.
- Dead Ends: In the hopes of having effectual conversations, you have to ask the real questions. You cannot ask only yes or no questions or you will be stuck with yes or no answers. With that, you will not get anywhere in the way of solutions. Remember to be mindful of your word choices in order to get the most out of a conversation.
Obviously, these are just the basics when it comes to conversations, but it is imperative to understand how to have a good discussion in order to increase productivity. Remember to stay in a solution-oriented state of mind and don’t forget that you can have the same value of a one-on-one conversation with an entire group if you leverage the right “actionable social” tools