How to be better at conversation – The most vital skill for 21st Century.
How many of you have unfriended someone on Facebook because they said something offensive about politics, religion, food and literally anything. How many of you know at least one person to avoid because you don’t want to talk to them. A conversation requires balance between listening and talking. It’s the only essence through which we can have long-lasting conversations. But somewhere we have lost that balance. We might think why, or we may already know the answer. Yes, smartphones that you can easily grab. According to the research, about a third of American teenagers send more than a hundred texts a day. And they are more likely to send the texts to their friends instead of talking face-to-face.
Paul Barnwell, a high-school teacher, said, “I came to realize that conversational competence might be the single-most overlooked skill we cannot teach students. Kids spend hours each day engaging with ideas and one another through screens—but rarely do they hone their interpersonal communication skills,”. He said, “It might sound like a funny question, but we need to ask ourselves: Is there any 21st-century skill more important than being able to sustain confident, coherent conversation?”
“In the best conversations, you don’t even remember what you talked about, only how it felt. It felt like we were in some place your body can’t visit some place with no ceiling and no walls and no floor and no instruments”John Green
So we need to question ourselves that why are we not able to get this task accomplished. Here are some ways I have listed through you can enhance your conversational skills.
Be Able to Listen
Don’t multitask while you are talking to someone. It doesn’t mean that you stop what you are doing. But it simply means; Be present, be in that moment. Don’t think about anything else like if you had an argument with the co-worker in the office or what to cook for dinner. No, you need to be present in what you are talking about. Your response matters a lot. So give a feeling to others you are listening to them and you understand what they are saying.
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”Stephen R. Covey
So listen with curiosity and not with the intention to just reply. When we listen to reply, our focus just goes to what we are going to reply. Instead, when we listen with curiosity, we have no intention of replying, but we understand the words spoken and their meaning.
Use Open-Ended Questions
Start your questions with–who, what, why, when and how. Don’t ask complicated questions. If you do that, you are going to get a simple answer out of it. For instance: “Are you okay?” and the answer would be more likely in “yes or no”. So change your question. Ask them “How did it go?” or “what was that like?” Let them describe what they went through because they are ones who know it. Because then they are going to stop for a moment and would think about it. And you would get a really interesting response.
Go with the Flow during conversation
While having a conversation, thoughts are going to come to your mind. And you would probably get lost in your thoughts instead of listening to what the other person is saying. This would make your conversation lost, and it would not be much amused. So stay in the conversations and wait for your turn. Don’t just blurt out in the middle of the conversation, cutting the other person so you can say your brilliant comment. No, let them finish what they are saying and then say something. Thoughts and ideas are going to come to your mind, and you need to put them aside for later.
Be Honest during conversation
Well, we know that we can also get a little with the insincere attitude, but you need to be honest while sharing your experiences, your secrets, or even when you are just talking with a not so friendly friend. Say directly if you don’t know about a particular thing or any subject on which you are having a conversation. Talk should not be cheap and to avoid this, you need to be honest. Yes, there are people who think that if we say we don’t know what others think about us. No, get out of this thinking and be confident.
“Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.”Bill Nye
Your experience is individual one
Don’t equate your experiences with theirs. If they are telling you about having lost a family member, don’t start talking about your time when you lost a family member. Because experiences are never the same. They are different for different people. Instead of saying your experiences, you can either console them or if it’s about an adventurous experience, give your remarks on them. Remember, Conversations are not promoting opportunity.
Good Conversation not only makes you happy but, also it will make you confident and charismatic. It will help you communicate well and get help of others easily and can actually help you become mentally strong, healthy and discover the happiness of your life.