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The Art of Conversation

by Lorna Bergamasco (follow)
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“The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.” - Peter Drucker

Mastering the art of conversation is a critical social skill, regardless of whether you are conducting a meeting in a room full of people, or making small talk to the person sitting next you. Communication with others can be so much easier if you consider the following:

• Introduction – an introduction, if made in the right manner, will leave a lasting impression long after the conversation is over. Try looking the person in the eye, extend your hand and say “hello my name is.”

• Talking Point – try to draw the other person in by using a thought provoking question, such as “what do you enjoy doing for relaxation?” in order to find out a person’s likes, interests or dislikes.

• Imagine you are old friends – with someone you have a history with, conversation comes easily, so if you think like an old friend when making a potential new friend, you will feel more confident.

• Form a rapport – showing an interest in others will indicate that you are genuine and worth talking to.

• Compliments do work – complimenting someone regardless of whether it’s about their dress or hair style will make the person want to hear more.

After starting up that all important conversation, you now need to feed it. Try the following:

• Be a good listener – conversation is more meaningful if you hear what is not being said, so ask the questions but always devote time to listening.

• Topics – stay away from topics which many cause the conversation to stop. Politics, religion and money are best discussed with old friends.

• Using open questions – these tend to require an explanation instead of a yes/no answer.

• Body language – how you stand, eye contact and a smile will show you that are interested and will ensure your conversation continues.

• Closing a conversation – always be polite when ending your conversation. Using “it was a pleasure talking to you” creates a good impression, and makes the person feel valued.

If you want to enjoy the company of others regardless of whether it is in the workplace; on a plane, or in any social situation; learning a few conversational skills will go a long way to gaining that confidence and ultimate pleasure in the company of others.

#Life Skills
#Self Worth
#Self Esteem
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