7 Habits of highly Effective Conversationalists

‘How to be a better conversationalist?’ is a question that hovers in the mind of all socially aware people of the civilised society.

Besides, an interesting conversation is a very important business etiquette. The skills of effective face to face conversation enable you to build better relations at the workplace and in society. We converse day in and day out. So we must try to think back how often we are very interesting and how often we are not. There are certain rules which we need to keep in mind to develop our good business conversation habits. These are as follows:

1. Be present: When you are conversing with someone for fun or for business negotiation, you should be totally with him or her. A good conversationalist must be an active listener. You need to listen to understand and not to reply back. When you do that you will be more engaging in the conversation. You should not think about anything else; not about any past events nor any similar situations. You should only be listening to the person you are speaking to. While listening, you should be assimilating the information not to reply but to understand. In simple words first understand then only try to be understood.

2. No advice unless you are asked, please: Your conversation should not be just to vent out your opinions or to display that you know everything about the things that you are discussing.
It also does not mean that you should not participate in the conversation. You may hold a different opinion and also express the same decently in an inoffensive manner. Always keep in mind than an effective conversationalist need to be flexible, but, you should be. That can happen only if you listen and understand the other person properly and never interrupt anyone when he or she is speaking.

3. Ask open ended questions using what, how, where, when etc. If these are suitable to the person & situation when they answer these questions, they will be able to speak out in detail what they have in mind. They will be able to throw more light on the subject of conversation which will add to your knowledge and pat their ego. Don’t just ask questions for which the answer is ‘yes’ or ‘no’. That will not show that you are a good conversationalists.

4. Go with the flow and make the conversation a fun: You must first listen to the person talking and if at all you have to say something different from the current topic wait until the subject changes. Maintain a good sense of humour.
Besides, you need never be waiting for speaking out as soon as the speaker completes the sentence. In such an instance your mind will be only concerned with what you are going to speak. In the process you will not listen and you will not understand what the person just spoke.

5. If you don’t know, say it: You should never behave like “I know everything” even when you know much. One never knows all. Thus, if you are asked something and you don’t know simply say “I am sorry, I don’t know!” There is nothing wrong in that. In fact, I have never met anyone who knows everything. But I must admit that there could be people who show off as it they everything.

6. Don’t equate your experience with theirs: Now, if someone is sharing with you an experience and you also had a similar experience earlier, hold that back. Let the speaker enjoy telling/sharing his/her experience and then briefly only if necessary just in agreement you can say that yes this is true because you also experienced the same.
You should never rob him/her from sharing that interesting experience with you. A good conversationalist has a good sence of humour and makes the conversation enjoyable for everyone.

7. Don’t repeat yourself: Repetition in a conversation is extremely unwelcome. People will get bored and they will definitely think that it is not worth talking to you because you keep on repeating yourself. And many people do the same. Therefore try to think, observe and ensure that you never repeat the same thing over and over again.

Thus, one must listen, be more open and while speaking, should be brief. Verbosity kills the efficacy of the idea. Always use simple language and short sentences. Short sentences means one can vary the sentences between four words to twenty words. If you are using a sentence containing 20 words, you must pause in the middle just like you give commas in a written speech and not speak in one go. Develop a sense of humour to keep the conversation light.

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How to be a good listener, to be popular, and to be respected?

Loved breeds happiness. And when you make others happy, you are loved. There is a close bond between love and happiness. So, how does listening help you in being loved and being happy? This is the subject of our discussion in this essay. The feeling that you are being loved brings you satisfaction. It enhances your self esteem and results in happiness. When others care for you, you feel important and when they listen to you, you feel significant and elated which adds to your happiness. Same is true when you listen to them.

Let’s deal with the subject by considering the following 3 questions:

What is good listening?
How does it help you to being loved?
How does it help you to be happy?


Question 1. What is good listening?


i) Ask question only to ensure understanding.

It requires you to put your agenda aside and totally devote to understanding and assimilating what is being said. You don’t listen to give a reply, but you just listen to understand. The moment you become keen to give a reply, your mind will start analyzing the speech from your own perspective. It will hinder your ‘objective’ understanding. You should, add comments, seek clarifications or ask question only after listening, understand and assimilating what is said.


ii) You should always be self-aware and live in present.

There should be no thoughts about the past nor should you think about future, when conversing with someone.

iii) Body language is important post of communication.

You need also to understand the body language of the speaker. And, this would include eye contact, posture, facial expression etc.

iv) Listening needs to be non-judgmental.

You must not allow your likes and dislikes or personal prejudice to affect the meaning the speakers wants to project.


v)  Listening is more important than speaking.

To be listened is so important for the people that many a times they will like to be heard rather than just granted the request what they requested.


vi) Learn the process of active listening.

Active listening calls for you to listen about 80% of the time without interruption balance 20% of the time you may ask questions. This will indeed be an attribute of good listening.

vii) Assumptions misguide and sometimes these are dangerous!

You need to make it known to the speaker that you are attentively listening. Thus, your nods with your head and words like ‘Yes’hmm ‘I see, I agree go long way to make be you an adept active listener.


viii) Relaxed mind is more receptive.

You will indeed enjoy your choice of active listening with the results that you will derive from the activity.


Question 2. How does active listening help you to being loved?
Now we can consider how listening actively makes others happy and make you in turn happy. They not only respect you but they love you if you actively listen to what they say.

Try to reflect what the speaker is feeling be at the same plane.

The speaker feels that he/she are important when you carefully listen to them. They are reassured that you care for them. In turn they will care for you. The speaker thinks that they have some worthy ideas that is being expressed. And if you don’t listen to them with due attention, they will feel let down. But if on the other hand you not only listen but make it known that you have listened, the speaker will feel elated and happy and so will you be.

Respect is always mutual, you have to earn respect. You have to make others happy to receive positive vibes making you happy in return.
Besides, better listening rids you of any bitter discussion. You understand that these are futile. Avoiding arguing, you also avoid bitterness which often is the result of trying to win an agreement. Active listening empowers you to hold your opinion without any offence. Because of your listening skills you are in a position to offer you opinion in a relevant manner. When your conversation with everyone becomes more meaningful, both of you enjoy it. Undoubtedly it brings happiness. 

Exchange of ideas in such a situation brings about a lot of learning on both sides. Continuous learning raises your self –esteem which in turn makes you satisfied with yourself and be contented.

In fact, even between the spouses the problem starts with one not listening to other. One feels ignored and the problem starts. Left unattended, it grows into unmanageable differences. If we are unhappy at home or at the work, place life is messed up.

Children too turn rebellious because they feel that parents don’t try to understand them. In the fast changing world today maintaining good relations is more challenging than ever. Yet good relationship is emanating from better understanding which forms the foundation of respect and love.
So if you want to be loved by others listen to them and make them feel that they are loved. If you want to gain happiness distribute the same among others who will gladly reciprocate.

Question 3. How does Good Listening help you to be Happy?


Every living being has physiological needs and safety needs. Living being must have food to live and is keen to care for life. That part is survival story. No happiness is involved. But, after survival needs are fulfilled, psychological needs come to the fore for human beings.
As social entities, humans want to have a feeling of belonging. It’s an experience that they belong to a community, a family or a group gives them a feeling of satisfaction. If they are alone and uncared their psychological craving of togetherness disturbs them.
Good listening helps you to have cordial relations with your family and friends. When you listen to them they come closer to you, they experience that you are giving them importance. By listening you reassure them of their significance. Inwardly they feel obliged to you as you are fulfilling their psychological need of heart to heart communication.
As we discussed earlier ability to express your ideas give a great satisfaction. However, you approve of your ability only if the listeners pay attention, understand and when possible and needed, take action. Likewise when you are actively listening, the speaker feels comfortable and satisfied with his skill of expression. In turn the process fosters better relation and love for each other. This is particularly important among the family members and close friends.

Besides, when you speak, you say what you already know. No doubt it satisfies your need for expression, but you don’t learn anything new. But listening gives you the opportunity to learn what you don’t know. Learning gives a great satisfaction and enhances your self esteem. When your self esteem is high you wish to do greater things. Self-esteem enables you to venture on the new turf, start new project. Maslow’s theory of happiness is recognized as the last word in respect of this great wishful emotion-happiness.
“There is a clear distinction between love and respect or esteem. The ability to feel self-esteem springs from being embraced by families and communities”. Further, you become more creative which again contributes to your confidence.
Good listening also helps you to mitigate your personal ego. Because when you are full of ego, you tend to behave as if you know all and therefore you shun listening, much less active listening.

Actualization makes you really happy. And what is actualization? Maslow defines actualization as “what a man can be, he must be. This need may be referred to the desire for self-fulfillment. So discovery of self, understanding the capabilities and then doing what it takes to actualize yourself will grant the best results. But this cannot take place unless you are a good listener.

Further, survey reveals that you tend to perceive situations, people and their reality more accurately if you are good listeners.
With all the advantages described above there remains no doubt that listening and its resultant process will make you one, who understands the world and the people better. This understanding will make you happier, more than your expectations.

Thanks for reading.

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7 Habits of highly Effective Conversationalists

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An interesting conversation is very important business etiquette. It’s also critical for relations building.  We converse day in and day out. So we must try to think back how often we are very interesting and how often we are not. There are certain rules which we need to keep in mind to develop our good business conversation habits. These are as follows:

  1. Be present: When you are conversing with someone for fun or for business negotiation, you should be totally with him or her. You should not think about anything else; not about any past events nor any similar situations. You should only be listening to the person you are speaking to. While listening, you should be assimilating the information not to reply but to understand. In simple words first understand then only try to be understood.
  2. No opinions unless you are asked, please: Your conversation should not be just to vent out your opinions or to display that you know everything about the things that you are discussing.
    It also does not mean that you should not participate in the conversation. You a have the right to differ, but, you should be doing that with elegance, grace and poise. That can happen only if you listen and understand the other person properly.
  3. Make others talk: Ask open ended questions using what, how, where, when etc. When they answer these questions, they will be able to speak out in detail what they have in mind. They will be able to throw more light on the subject of conversation which will add to your knowledge and pat their ego. Don’t just ask questions for which the answer is ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
  4. Go with the flow: You must first listen to the person talking and if at all you have to say something different from the current topic wait until the subject changes.
    Besides, you need never be waiting for speaking out as soon as the speaker completes the sentence. In such an instance your mind will be only concerned with what you are going to speak. In the process you will not listen and you will not understand what the person just spoke.
  5. If you don’t know, say it: You should never behave like “I know everything” even when you know much. One never knows all. Thus, if you are asked something and you don’t know simply say “I am sorry, I don’t know!” There is nothing wrong in that.
  6. Don’t equate your experience with theirs: Now, if someone is sharing with you an experience and you also had a similar experience earlier, hold that back. Let the speaker enjoy telling/sharing his/her experience and then briefly only if necessary just in agreement you can say that yes this is true because you also experienced the same.
    You should never stop or rob him/her from sharing that interesting experience with you.
  7. Don’t repeat yourself: Repetition in a conversation is extremely unwelcome. People will get bored and they will definitely think that it is not worth talking to you because you keep on repeating yourself. And many people do the same. Therefore try to think, observe and ensure that you never repeat the same thing over and over again.

Thus, one must listen, be more open and while speaking, should be brief. Verbosity kills the efficacy of the idea. Always use simple language and short sentences. Short sentences means one can vary the sentences between four words to twenty words. If you are using a sentence containing 20 words, you must pause in the middle just like you give commas in a written speech and not speak in one go. Develop a sense of humour to keep the conversation light.
Thanks for reading.

Please follow and like us: