With everything happening around the globe, there’s a lot of strain on the possibilities of having rich conversations. Conversations happening around the world today drive controversies. Everyone has a sentiment to defend and do not want your opinion. Ranging from differing political ideologies, to conspiracy theories, racism, narcissism plus a tad of intellectual showoff—it’s tough to have these kinds of conversations without getting triggered.
Having rich conversations improves one’s self-confidence, relationships, comprehension, and knowledge of the concerned subject matter. The ability to have seamless conversations is now considered a skill. This explains why interviewers and other conversationalists do not go home hungry.
You’ll know how cherishable this concept is if you have had a conversation with someone and a feeling of fulfillment just consumes you. That’s exactly what conversations should feel like. No arguments. Just two people listening to each other.
Technology has made it a bit harder to find connection in one-on-one conversations. Statistics show that texting is about 5 times preferred to having one-on-one conversations. If you read on, you’ll learn how to have conversations without getting offended and offending people in six points.
Present Moment Awareness
This is the fundamental concept of good conversations. At the point of conversing, nothing else should have your focus. Your attention matters to whoever you’re having a conversation with. Imagine you speaking to someone, and the person just can’t get their eyes off their phones. This is the closest scenario to bring you to understand how important giving your full attention to conversations is.
There’s no way to stress this enough. Listening is the most important concept of good conversations. The cliche “Talk less, listen more” may not work if you both practise this. It is best to talk as much as you listen. The popular misconception about listening is that you have to keep your composure and maintain eye contact always. Conversations should be relaxing rather than feeling like a chore. There’s really no need to act as if you’re listening, just listen and most importantly with the intent to learn not with the intent to reply.
Agree Heartily, Disagree Softly
Arguments always occur as a result of the conversing parties not being able to properly disagree. When you’re looking to have rich conversations, know how to disagree with the other person’s opinion. This helps to improve mutual respect, especially with strangers— the bond grows subtly and networking becomes easier.
It is no longer a conversation if you exert your opinion on others. Celestee Headlee said in her TED talk 10 Ways To Have Better Conversations “You need to enter every conversation assuming that you have something to learn sometimes that means setting aside your personal opinion.” She agrees on the importance of opening your mind to differing opinions. You do not always expect people to agree with you. Learn to absorb every sentiment.
When the other person is speaking, don’t interrupt. A lot of people are very quick to compare situations and chip in questions or topics. For example, when someone talks about their vacation experience at a mall you’ve been to. It’s always tempting to quickly interrupt and share yours as well. Don’t. Be patient till your partner is done sharing their experience.
It gets irksome when you keep dragging conversations for too long. Ensure to use less words than possible and quickly spell your points out. It’s really unnecessary to stress a topic more than you should. In the words of Celestee Headlee in her TED talk, she said “Good conversation are like short skirts, short enough to retain interest and long enough to cover the subject.”
Henceforth, I hope you’re able to engage people in healthy conversations, network easily, and learn softly. Let me know in the comment section if you find this helpful.