5 ways you can be great at conversations

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The idea of having a conversation with an individual spreads beyond just speaking without stopping to listen to what they have to say. Whether they are speaking on a general topic or they have an issue, always listen.

Dialogue involves 2 or more people, therefore every of the party involved must be given the time to speak and to listen to other people speak.

Here are ways you can be involved in great dialogue;

1. Listen to the person – Understand that it’s not just about you, it also involves the other party. So listen as much as you speak, give the person enough time to speak too.

2. Be genuinely interested in what they have to say- Listening attentively alone doesn’t cut it, you must also be genuinely interested in the person. Strive to know more about them, ask personal questions or ask about their jobs or businesses. Do not fake it, show genuine interest. Ask purposeful questions. Meaningful questions ellicit meaningful responses.

3. Don’t be radical or aggressive- Following my earlier example, I mentioned that it’s good practice to ask questions. Such questions must be positive questions, don’t say hateful words, don’t ask questions with the intent to mock your conversational partner. Converse, don’t argue. Arguing is not necessary because you might end up regretting what you’ve said after winning the argument.

4. Respect; don’t judge or criticize- Respect other people’s space and the right to their views, don’t act like you know it all. If they open up to you, don’t judge them but put the person in his/her best light. Proffer solutions, don’t add insult to the injury, don’t blame or judge them. Don’t be too critical over what they say or do and always give people the benefit of doubt.

5. Be ready to share your own thoughts- Share your own thoughts but as mentioned previously, don’t dominate the discussion. This does not mean that you should hold back from sharing your own opinions. Be true to yourself, put them in your shoes, make the person look good without being authentic.

Follow these steps and you’ve scored yourself a 100 in dialogue.

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