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.

Thanks for reading.

Public Announcements.

Subway train1

                                                   Subway in New York.

“Good Morning….. Good morning to all of you. Have a wonderful day…” This was the cheerful announcement I heard in a subway train in New York travelling from Queens to Times Square. The enthusiastic greetings were interspersed with interesting happy anecdotes. The compartment which I was travelling was disfigured with some writings which made no sense to me. But the announcements were so pleasing to hear that I was filled with energy to encounter great things in Manhattan (New York).

milaan airport1

                                                    Linatte Airport, Milan

Then again I remembered when I got down first time at Linatte Airport in Milan, Italy. The announcements were music to my ears. That was my first visit to Italy and I didn’t know one word of Italian language. But the tone, the clarity and the cordiality with which announcements were being made filled me with joy. I thought it was a wonderful country.
I know that comparisons are odious and should be avoided. But if these leave us with lessons to learn, I consider comparisons serve a good cause and should not be despised. So I draw a comparison with my most recent experience.
Last week I went for to Delhi for a day. As per my habit I reached the airport well in advance and was waiting for the flight announcement after my security check. There was no announcement but there was a call on my mobile. Suddenly the caller almost shouted “Where are you Mr. Kakri. You are the last passenger to board the flight.” Hurriedly I went to the gate and boarded the bus trying to avoid the sarcastic looks prowling my entire body.
spice jet
                                                  SpiceJet- Delhi Airport
I did my work and next day & returned by SpiceJet flight. The departure time of the flight was 4 pm. As usual I was early. I seated myself after searching a lone empty chair and started browsing the book my nephew had given me. At the counter I was informed the boarding will start at 3:30 pm. Around that time there was some feeble announcement about Spice Jet Flight. As I could not decode the words spoken an in an inarticulate fashion, I looked for the announcement board. The flight was delayed by half an hour. So I thought the boarding will take place at 4 pm instead of 3:30 pm. After some time a worried looking elderly person told me that the flight was further delayed. However there was no announcement. We were all waiting on the 1st floor while the boarding takes place on the ground floor. So slowly I went down and reached gate no 12 where I was supposed to board the flight. There was a huge queue and I also took my place in the queue. But it did not move for more than half an hour. Some of the passengers lost their temper. There were hot arguments with the airline staff. It was an uncivil ugly sight. This could have been easily avoided with proper articulate and cordial announcements.
Our political leaders often go to foreign countries for study tours. I hope one day they will come back realizing the importance of polite and clear announcements to guide our concerned people.
Thanks for reading. ­­­