“Don’t force your views on others, show them the beauty of your thoughts.”
Conversation is part of everyone’s lives. You have the daily conversation with your spouse, family members, friends, colleagues, business associates, and at our workplaces. I am sure; you might have got offended by a person who said something about politics, religion, childcare or food or any other thing that concerns you. Like someone else’s comment offended you, your comments can hurt them. If you have a bad conversation that will drive to exhaustion and depression.
Now, we are more polarized, opposed, against each other, and more divided than any time in history. We are less likely to compromise, and we are not willing to listening to others. We decide what we like to do, according to our beliefs and choose to cleave to it. Moreover, in today’s technology era, every one of us is shouting at others using a smartphone. We are connected, by social media, but we rarely have a direct in-person conversation.
These days, conversational competence is the most neglected skill, though it is paramount and needed in our daily lives. We must develop it to have a coherent, confident and engaging discussion. If a conversation is not managed properly, it will evolve into an argument.
Our happiness and griefs are linked to a conversation with someone you love or hate, you agree or disagree. By improving your conversation, you can enjoy your lives, and end up energised and excited and you will emerge not diminished but stronger, not dispassionate but engaged. Conversation is not about winning or losing; it is about participating in a fruitful dialogue to understands other’s perspective and present your views and thoughts.
Here is a list of Seven ways to have a better conversation, this is not an exhaustive list, but it is a critical list.
1 — Listen To Understand Other’s Perspective
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” ― Stephen R. Covey
Every conversation requires a balance between talking & listening. Today, we have lost that balance. It requires a lot of courage and energy to pay attention to someone. Listen with the intent to understand and not with the purpose to counter the statement or how to reply. Every person has something which you don’t have, thus take interest in others and understand. Listen with an open mind, which helps you develop the trust. During a conversation your mind brings in new ideas, different stories, and thoughts, the chatter happening inside you, let them come and go. Ignore your ideas and thoughts and continue to listen what other person is saying. Don’t follow your thoughts & let your thoughts pass through and understand the other person’s perspective, his story, and his feelings.
2 — Be Authentic — Be yourself
Believe in what you are. Being Authentic and yourself is a choice that you have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up your authentic self and be real. Being authentic is a choice to be upright. Being authentic is an option to let you be seen as true yourselves. Sincere connection and relations only occur when you show your true, imperfect yourselves to others. To develop your sense of belonging your self-acceptance is more important. Be authentic and be yourself and get accepted by others and build the trust.
3 — Don’t Multitask, Stay focused
The biggest mistake during a conversation is multitasking, receiving a call or sending a text to a third person. How many times are you in a spot when you are talking to someone, and the person start fiddling with his smartphone or busy doing something else. When in a conversation don’t multi-task. If you need to do other things get out of the conversation, don’t be half in it and half out of it. During a conversation, if you multitask you are belittling, offending and hurting others person.
4 — Believe In Learning From Others
Conversation is not a threat but an opportunity to learn. Each person is unique; they have their views, learnings, lessons and stories. Others know things which you don’t know. Every conversation must be treated as an opportunity to learn. Go with the belief and mindset to learn and think how you can help and what you can serve the other person, which will keep you engaged & learn from the conversation.
5 — Ask Open-Ended Questions
During a discussion ask open-ended questions. Avoid questions which result in yes & no answers. Open ended question will allow the person to explain his views and his experience from which you will aware of — his liking, his feeling, and his emotions. By asking an open-ended question, you will dig deep for information.
6 — Be Brief And Simple
All are busy and time is precious. All conversation should be brief, to the point and in simple language. Don’t elaborate or talk about other topics unless it is vital and helps the discussion. Don’t use fancy words and slang to impress others. Simple and brief will get you better results.
7 — See & Monitor Your Conversation
You don’t realize until you see yourself in a conversation, in a video. Watching yourself will educate you about your looks, your communication style. You can reflect and see who you are. You can take corrective action, replace bad habits with good habits and improve your skills. And have a better conversation by monitoring your progress till you reach your desired goal.
In a conversation, the only thing you can manage is yourself & your behavior, And you can do that by acquiring habits that develop a better conversation. Just imagine how your conversation will be if you are speaking effectively and listening consciously. You can leave a conversation energized and inspired.
Originally published at medium.com