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The Strategies That Highly Effective Communicators Use For Great Conversations

The Strategies That Highly Effective Communicators Use For Great Conversations

Have you ever been caught up in a group of people and while everyone else is blabbing away you don’t quite manage to line up a sentence or spark off a topic?

Some people are gifted in conversing and can just talk to anyone at any place, at any time. Some people struggle to even make come up with one line even though their minds are overflowing with millions of possible topics waiting in a queue. What separates these two types of people is communication skills. You need to master the art of communication skill in order to get conversations flowing. Conversation is like a ball game. When a question bounces your way, respond with a reply to continue the dialogue flow and never let the ball drop.

Communication is more than a mere exchange of information. It is about understanding intentions and emotions behind it. It is a two-way street. Not just about how a message is conveyed but, also how it is received by others in a way you intended.

To blend in with master conversationalists, practice the following steps each time you happen to come across some kind of communication challlenge:

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Listen

You need to listen to gain full meaning and make others heard and understood.

Talking is not as important as listening. That is the irony. A good conversationalist listens well. In a TED Talk[1] in 2015, Celeste Headlee, the host of ” On second Thought” on Georgia public broadcasting stated that people rather talk than listen.

“When I’m talking, I’m in control. I don’t have to hear anything I’m not interested in. I’m the center of attention. I can bolster my own identity.”

We choose to talk more than listen because it is easy to get distracted when listening. On an average 225 words are spoken per minute, yet we can listen to approximately 500 words a minute. It takes effort to listen, but if you do not, you are not in a conversation.

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Avoid Interjecting

A good conversationalist does not interject. If someone is reflecting on how they are having trouble at work, do not talk about your personal job experiences. If they are reflecting on losing a family member do not start talking about the time you lost someone close. Why? Because all experiences are individual experiences, and not about you, you do not need to attempt to boost with reflections of your painful memories.

Be transparent

If you do not know be open about it. A good speaker is not afraid to reveal that they do not understand you, according to Mark levy[2]

“Not only will the other person feel heard; they’ll likely love having to explain their point in a way that’s different than normal.”

Stay Informed

Keep up to date with the latest news; get in touch with topics like culture and business[3]

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Good conversationalists can seed conversations and keep interest. Leave little details out like names and dates. The listener is interested in story, not facts.

Read the Cues

Emotionally intelligent people can read cues in communication challenges and they define their approach accordingly. Look for body language or mood changes that indicate the interest of the person in a conversation. This can help to improve or redirect the conversation accordingly. Awareness about the goals os parties and underlying motives of the conversation is revealed with body language.

Good conversationalists have:

Self-awareness: They understand their emotions.They take time out when they are overstressed

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Self-Management : They manage emotions

Social Awareness: They empathize with other people’s emotions

Social Skills: They make face to face contact, they handle emotions around them, they listen even if they do not agree before they speak.

Reference

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Nena Tenacity

Nena is passionate about writing. She shares her everyday health and lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on August 4, 2020

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here’s how to master the Gentle Art of Saying No:

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1. Value Your Time

Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”

2. Know Your Priorities

Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?

For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.

3. Practice Saying No

Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.

4. Don’t Apologize

A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.

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5. Stop Being Nice

Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets.

Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.

6. Say No to Your Boss

Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no,” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning.

But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.

7. Pre-Empting

It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting,

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“Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”

8. Get Back to You

Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them:

“After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.”

At least you gave it some consideration.

9. Maybe Later

If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say,

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“This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].”

Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.

10. It’s Not You, It’s Me

This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often, the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time.

Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

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Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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