In this talk by Celeste Headlee, she outlines the ingredients of a great conversation: Honesty, brevity, clarity and a healthy amount of listening. And most importantly, “be prepared to be amazed.”
Most of us need to be challenged to apply our minds to what we hear, before we engage our mouths to add our opinion.
10 Rules for better conversations:
- Don’t multitask. Be present. Be in that moment. Don’t be half in the conversation
- Enter every conversation assuming you have something to learn. Everybody is an expert in something
- Use open ended questions. Who, what, where, when, why or how? What was that like? How did that feel? It gives a more interesting response.
- Go with the flow. If thoughts come into your mind, let them go.
- If you don’t know, say that you don’t know.
- Don’t equate your experience with theirs. Their loss of a family member, job loss vs your family loss or job loss. Their and your experiences are different.
- Try not to repeat yourself. It’s condescending and boring.
- Stay out of the weeds. People don’t care about the years, names, dates… They care about you, what you are like, what you have in common.
- Listen. Keep your mouth shut as often as you possibly can. Keep your mind open. Always be prepared to be amazed.
- Be brief.
“Conversational competence might be the single most overlooked skill we fail to teach.
Kids spend hours each day engaging with ideas and each other through screens. But rarely do they have the opportunity to hone their interpersonal communication skills. Is there any 21st Century skill more important than being able to sustain competent confident conversation. Paul Barnwell, High School Teacher
Listen on: ted.com
Dr Lachlan Soper