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The conversation It is one of the most human arts and one that can open thousands of doors for you. Today most of us avoid real conversations with customers, partners, friends or family. We prefer to send a WhatsApp, an email or a voice message. Whatever is to avoid real chat.
The result is that Communication problems They multiply at work and in relationships. Sometimes we can’t even pick up the phone to speak to someone. But listen: theTalks change life, create friendships and are the seed for new projects. Become a black belt that masters these four conversation skills and dominates every encounter
1. The art of silence
“People are returning to people who make them feel good,” said Ron R. Shafer, author of The Like switch. Although it may seem contradictory, silence is as important in the art of conversation as words. Conversation is like music: It is the art of organizing a coherent combination of sounds and silence logically and sensitively.
The first and most serious mistake in the conversation is narcissism: the tendency to maintain the conversation around you, your issues, your concerns, your ideas and your projects. In conversation, Follow the 80/20 rule: Make sure that the other person (or people) has the microphone in 80% of the cases. Not everything in life is true, but that’s true: everyone likes to talk about themselves and their things. Give them the space for it and enjoy the ride.
More importantly, avoid the need to “win” every conversation. When someone tells you about your beach vacation, don’t count “your” beach vacation. When someone tells your sad story; Don’t tell your sad story. Let them “win”, let them get the applause. Keep 80/20 and become a great conversation partner.
The problem with those who talk a lot is this: Sometimes they don’t realize: If you are one of those who usually talk a lot, I recommend asking someone you trust to send you a secret message if you to break the rule.
2. The art of the question
Picture: Emily Morter on Unsplash
Misunderstood, the art of silence can lead to the most feared monster: uncomfortable silence. It’s not just about staying still like an oyster, it’s about learning to talk about strategic issues that have one goal in mind: to enable the other to talk about the topics they feel most comfortable with.
Helpful questions can be divided into three categories in order of perfection: tips, follow-ups and general culture.
Tips are the best question why they are also a gentle compliment. When you ask someone for advice, you feel important, wise, and relevant. “I have a problem, I would like to hear your opinion, what would you do in my place?” or something as harmless as “What film have you seen recently that you can recommend?” … can be the start of a great conversation.
Second, the consequencesThese are questions that aim to know and deepen the knowledge of other people and their universe. “How is your son after the surgery?” or “What did you like best about the tax rate?” These are questions that explore each other’s lives, strengthen the relationship, and have long and good conversations.
In third place General cultureThis is the weakest type of question, but can be an escape route in an emergency. “You have seen “parasite? o When do you think this quarantine will last? “They are general and flat questions. Of course: Avoid the prohibited topics that we will develop later.
3. The art of listening
It was my daughter Victoria who reminded me of the importance that experts called “active listening” one day when she ran into the room to give me a message while I was checking some messages on my phone. “Listen to me, Dad!” – said. And I replied, “I’m listening to you.” She hired in her short four years. “But listen to me with your eyes.”
Today we have more distractions than ever, and many of us have gotten used to checking your phone every three seconds. But there is a big difference between “listening” and actively listening. not just with your ears, but with your eyes, with your whole body, with 100% of your attention.
When someone calls themselves a “good interlocutor”, this is usually a characteristic: because they can listen. And no, it’s not that difficult (once you’ve learned how to do it). It usually consists of four elements:
- Eyes forward.
- Shoulders aimed at the other person.
- Distractors out of sight.
- An affirmative shake of the head: the universal symbol for empathy.
Get to know, learn and practice active listening; first as a technique and then as a real habit that enables good conversations and strong relationships to be built.
4. The art of the common theme
We are all human; We like to talk about ourselves, our problems and feel good with ourselves. ANDIn business and in life, the art of conversation is the art of etiquette: enabling others to feel good and at ease.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to avoid traditionally controversial issues with two universal rules for prohibited conversations:
- Never talk about religion or politics.
- In case of doubt: see rule number one.
Established things about that No It is convenient to speak in a conversation. Let’s talk about what is worth talking about.
“Friendship arises the moment one person says to another: what? Likewise? I thought I was the only one. “says C.S. Lewis in The four loved ones. Common interests are the natural terrain for developing not only great conversations, but also great projects.
So allow yourself from the first three arts (silence, questions and listening) to find a topic of mutual interest and attack it – and here a crucial point – with new questions, and not just yours own opinions or ideals that you always maintain the 80/20 distribution that we have already dominated.
With these four arts: silence, questions, listening and the common theme, you can dominate every meeting and become a great conversation partner. As with any topic related to the conversation, keep an honest and real character: although the techniques can open doors, they don’t stop people from knowing that they’re being manipulated.
Just like the black ribbon in martial arts, the speaking black ribbon is associated with great strength and great responsibility. You will be able to connect with people and change your reality: make sure you always do it forever.