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Look for a good conversationalist

Celestine is the Founder of Personal Excellence where she shares her best advice on how to boost productivity and achieve excellence in life. Read full profile. Are you a good conversationalist?


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In my last post I challenged you on your conversation skills, asking whether you were a good conversationalist or a great talker. If you want to gain pleasure from your interactions, the following are essential qualities for good conversations :. There are countless guides on the rules of conversation from way back in history. It shows that there is a parallel between good conversation and good manners and that the rules are timeless. Conventions of good manners however, although vital in a civil society, are not definitive when it comes to good conversation.

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Face-to-face interaction is crucial for making connections, fostering relationships and being effective at work. Some people seem to be born conversationalists, but for the rest, conversational skills can be learned, practiced and perfected. In this article, see tips to improve your conversational skills.

While some people seem like they're naturally charming, being a good conversationalist can be learned if you know what you're aiming for.

How to be a better conversationalist (with examples)

Here are five universal actions of a good conversationalist:. When the person you're speaking to is granting you their full attention, you know it. They're concentrating on you, seeking to engage rather than just hearing your words.

Listening intently to someone who is speaking naturally sparks curiosity, leading to clarifying questions. When someone is listening to what you're saying, they ask questions because they want to know more. They ask questions that open the conversation even more fully, allowing you to expand on your ideas and share your opinions.

When you answer their questions, they maintain eye contact with you, further proving their investment in your story.

10 rules of a great conversationalist

Sharing something about yourself invites the other person to open up and respond in turn. Revealing a personal detail is a great conversation-starter and is an equally great way to develop relationships with others. A good conversationalist knows this and they're also aware of how much to share and when to stop. They know how to begin with an interesting tidbit, such as a favorite book, tv show or sports team. These things aren't overly personal but are very effective at starting conversations that involve getting to know someone.

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A good conversationalist knows that not all silences are awkward. A lull in the conversation doesn't mean it's fizzled out, necessarily, rather, it could indicate a good time to regroup and prepare for the next wave of discussion. Silence on the part of the listener is also much appreciated when the speaker is talking. A good conversationalist listens as much, if not more, than they talk.

If there is one overarching trait that makes a good conversationalist, it's courtesy.

How to be a better conversationalist

Showing good manners and respect for the other person is the only way to keep a meaningful conversation flowing. Traits of courteous conversation include refraining from interrupting the speaker, paying full attention to the speaker, avoiding talking excessively about one's self and refraining from looking at their phone. Related: 11 Ways To Start a Conversation. Participating in conversation is something humans have a natural inclination for, as it's how we learn about one another, discuss ideas and fulfill the need for human interaction.

Conversation itself is important to daily life but being a great conversationalist provides a much richer experience for you and the people you converse with and can lead Look for a good conversationalist fulfilling relationships, understanding of each other and innovation. Conversation stimulates your brain, encourages creativity and connects you with the world.

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When you become a good conversationalist, you can provide the same enriching experience for the people you speak with, stimulating their brain, encouraging their creativity and connecting with them. This stimulation can foster improved problem-solving, enhanced contentment and a deeper understanding of topics that you didn't know much about before.

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Being a good conversationalist provides support to your colleagues and others close to you by allowing them an avenue to share ideas, vent frustrations, give or ask for advice and overall enjoy better emotional health. Conversation is the avenue to idea generation and success, both individually and as a team. Follow the tips below to begin improving your conversational skills:. Conversational skills are acquired first through simple, surface-level conversation.

Small talk is a great way to practice engaging on more profound levels. For example, an offhand comment about the weather to a stranger could spark deeper interaction and lifelong friendships. When that offhand comment about the weather begins to grow into a full-on conversation, introduce yourself.

Six essential qualities of a good conversationalist

You may consider having a standard introduction that involves sharing a small tidbit of information about yourself to further the conversation, or you may just offer your hand and simply give them your name. Either way, you've taken the next step to a potentially great conversation. If you find yourself in the same place as someone else, it's usually safe to assume that you have something in common, even if the only commonality is that you're both in the same place at the same time.

To get a conversation running, ask them what brought them to this place.

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For example, if you meet someone at the same charity event you're attending, it can be fruitful to find out what other charities you might have in common. If the person seems interested in talking to you but is giving only yes or no answers, try asking open-ended questions to get them to open up a bit more.

Consider keeping the five Ws in mind when asking follow-up questions, such as "What is that like? Showing your genuine interest in them is likely to incentivize their active participation in the conversation. One of the surest ways to convey disinterest in a conversation is to pick up your phone and start scrolling or texting.

Why is being a good conversationalist important?

Furthermore, by splitting your attention, you lose focus on the conversation and the experience becomes much less enriching to you and the person you're talking to. To get and give the fullest experience possible, avoid multitasking and focus fully on your conversation partner. Actively listen, don't interrupt and ask insightful questions. When your conversation comes to an end, convey to the person that you're appreciative of their conversation.

Hate awkward silences? 10 essential tips to be a great conversationalist

Mention a point they spoke about to further show your interest, such as "Thanks for telling me the name of your mechanic. I'll have him take a look at my brakes. Exchange business cards or mobile s and follow up with them a few days later. in. Find jobs.

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10 ways to become a better conversationalist

Create your. Help Center. Career Development. What makes a good conversationalist? Actively listening. Embracing silence. Being courteous. Why is being a good conversationalist important? How to become a better conversationalist.

How to be a great conversationalist: 10 essential rules

Start with small talk. Introduce yourself. Find common ground. Ask open-ended questions. Focus on your conversation partner.

Show your appreciation. Related View More arrow right. We also offer tips for people whose names are frequently mispronounced at work.