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How to Create More Meaningful Conversations

How to Create More Meaningful Conversations

As an expert at building rapport with people, I help others create meaningful connection to those that are important to them. Meaningful conversation is a strategy to establish that connection.  So let’s dive into this topic and I will share with you some of the most effective techniques and tips that have proven success.

Big insight:  It’s not really what you say as much as what you feel (and how you make someone feel) in your conversation with them that creates the meaning.

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Here are 8 practical tips to create more meaningful conversation:

1.  Be real:

I always say this to people and am often shocked why they don’t know what I mean.  Just because you are in a certain environment doesn’t always mean you have to communicate in the way the “rules” of that environment dictate.  Every conversation is a connection no matter where you are.  Being real means talking to people with your sleeves up, letting them in and sometimes being a bit more vulnerable (or open to their vulnerability) than you are used to.  This creates an instant connection.

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2.  Always validate:

This is so important when you are communicating with someone and you want to create more meaningful conversation.  Remember, people want to feel heard.  Before you say something, acknowledge everything a person says and receive it.  Not necessarily that you agree with what they said, but that you are taking it in and letting them know it is received, instead of resisted.

3.  Meet people where they are:

You can always steer a conversation later but first appeal to where someone is in the moment.  If you want to create more meaning in your connection, be a bit more flexible in your approach at first.

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4.  Take people on a journey:

Want to know what makes movies, songs and stories meaningful?  It’s the journey.  It’s not always a direct route to where you want to go.  Be open to a process in your conversation.  Take people on a journey with you and be curious about theirs.

5.  Link commonalities:

Every talking point can be an opportunity for you to create meaning by learning that they have similar experiences or sharing with someone a part of you that is like them.  Be careful that you don’t create a tit for tat situation here.   The goal is to establish you are like each other, not to compare your stories with theirs.

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6.  Know your outcome:

That outcome should be to create a connection before any agenda.  Make your life easier by creating strong connections with more meaning so that you don’t have to work so hard to get where you want to go.  Relationships are everything.  Your outcome and your focus are narrowed to this one thing.  It makes everything else easier.

7.  Make people feel special:

You always want to make someone feel like they are different and they are special to you—in some way.  It’s as simple as that.  Share something with them, ask about an experience they are having and praise or comfort them.  This will take you a long way in someone’s heart.

8.  Create transparency in your conversation and be clear:

Always let someone know where you stand.  People respect you more when they know who you are.  When you clarify, people will let their guard down.  When people let their guard down, they are more open to connect to you and then you will both create more meaning in your experience.

Did you relate to this?   Use these techniques in your own life and see what happens.  I would love to hear from you!

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Last Updated on October 15, 2018

Why Helping Others Actually Helps Yourself

Why Helping Others Actually Helps Yourself

Helping others: it’s a fundamental part of humanity, bonding together and helping a fellow man or woman. In times of tragedy, the stories of those who help others are inspiring, such as helping the nation recover from national disasters and terrorist attacks. Some men and women even devote their lives to helping others, from the police force that protects our cities, to the fire departments who run into burning buildings, to the service men and women who risk their lives for the common good.

“No one has ever become poor by giving.” ― Anne Frank, diary of Anne Frank

But helping others isn’t limited to these grand gestures or times of tribulation. Helping others can be done each and every day. And contrary to what you may have heard, helping others doesn’t always have to be a selfless act. It’s important to understand that helping others can actually help yourself. No matter what the motivation, getting out and helping others is the key. So in that spirit of motivation, here are 5 reasons why helping others actually helps yourself.

1. Quid Pro Quo

When you help someone, they will be more likely to help you. This is the basic, unspoken agreement that fuels nearly every move. I’ll spend my entire day lugging boxes, but you owe me. It’s much easier to find help when someone knows you’d do the same for them. They may not always live up to their end of the bargin, and you may not either. But if you help enough people and do many good deeds, it will be given back when needed.

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2. Karma goes both ways.

All too often, the idea of Karma is described in a negative way. If you do bad, bad will come find you. But it works the other way too. When you are a good person and help people, good things seem to happen. And while you may not believe in an inter-connected universe that rewards good deeds, there is something to be said about how helping others changes your perspective. When you’re helping others, you will often feel better about yourself, increasing the likelihood that your next experience will be a positive one, rather than a negative one.

3. Doing good feels good.

It’s maybe the most cited benefit of doing good: you’ll feel great. Helping others is a great way to feel better about yourself. Seeing a smile or even tears of joy makes it all worth it. It’s as simple as that.

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4. Good publicity is the best publicity.

People notice when you’re doing good. It may not be the reason you help out, but someone is always watching. Even the simplest gesture can make an awesome impression.

When I was in college, I had a class that helped out at a school for a full day. I worked with a small group of high school students who were incredibly interested in writing, and I had a great time. I asked the teacher if I could come back on my own time and work with these students to finish this project we were working on, to which she agreed.

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I went two more times that week, thinking nothing more about it. Fast forward a few weeks: I received a letter in the mail stating I had been chosen as a Presidential Grant Recipient for the summer and received a $2,000 stipend to work with a group of students and professors on a research project over the summer. I was floored, as I hadn’t even applied. I was nominated by that teacher who appreciated the work I did with her students. It wasn’t expected, but helping others ended up opening a door I never would have known was even available.

5. Helping others looks good on a resume or application.

Is your resume looking a little thin? Does your college application need a bit of pizzaz? Volunteering your time and energy to help others makes your resume and applications look as good as it makes you feel. Hiring managers look favorably on volunteer work and many acceptance committees use it to separate similar candidates. So read to some first graders, volunteer at the homeless shelter, and volunteer at your local Boys and Girl Club. Your resume will thank you.

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Featured photo credit: xavi talleda via flickr.com

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