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.
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.
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.
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.
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!