Learn how to have better conversations with these three tips.
(Tim Hererra, New York Times)
From Tom: The Full Article Is Worth A Read.
3 Tips to Have Better Conversations
Be genuine. Be interested. And stop hogging the conversation.
- Know the three tiers of conversations
Tier one is safe territory: sports, the weather, pop culture, local celebrities and any immediate shared experience.
Tier two is potentially controversial: religion, politics, dating and love lives. “Test the waters, and back away if they’re not interested,” one expert told Jen.
Tier three includes the most intimate topics: family, finance, health and work life. “Some people love to talk about what they do and their kids, but don’t ask a probing question until the door has been opened,” said Daniel Post Senning, an etiquette expert and the great-great-grandson of Emily Post.
- Be more interested to be more interesting
Don’t enter a conversation with the intent of leaving everyone in stitches, unless perhaps you’re a professional comedian.
- Don’t be a conversation hog
We’ve all been involved in those irritating conversations where we can never get a word in edgewise. Unfortunately, we may have been on the other side, too. Mr. Post Senning said it was crucial to “share the conversation pie. Share half if there are two of you, a quarter if there are four. The share of the pie is never as large as what involves you listening.”
- To be a true conversation superstar, try these tips:
- Be attentive and give eye contact.
- Make active and engaged expressions.
- Repeat back what you’ve heard, and follow up with questions.
- If you notice something you want to say, don’t say it. Challenge it and go back to listening.
- For bonus points, wait an hour to bring up that thing you didn’t say earlier.