Professional Development

Eight simple ways you can have more meaningful conversations

Written by Guest Contributor

Some people are born great communicators, while others might spend a lot of their time planning out what to say, and when to say it. Starting up a new conversation and being able to keep someone engaged could take a lot of mental energy if you’re an introvert. Even worse, not being able to keep the conversation going can result in you being labeled as boring, or rude.

There are some major points that you need to know before engaging in a professional conversation. Knowing these tactics of conversation will not only help you in keeping an exhcnage going, but you would also be able to communicate in a more meaningful way.

If you suffer from social anxiety, these helpful tips will help you manage your conversation anticipation and improve your social skills. Start to implement techniques like:

1. Be an active listener

More often than not, the main reason some of us are at a loss for words is that we’re not paying attention when another person is speaking. Always make sure you’re actively listening in order to carry on the conversation.

Listening intently to what is being said will help you in having a better understanding of the topic being discussed. As a result, you can make points in your mind and maybe pull some references to help you steer things in a direction that makes to you.

2. Ask questions

The best way of letting the other person know that you are paying attention is by asking them questions. Drill down on things that you find interesting, before forming your final thoughts and opinions regarding what is being discussed.

3. Offer suggestions

If someone comes to you for guidance, make sure you provide them with helpful advice. Try being empathetic and put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Be sure to watch that your tone is never forceful while giving suggestions because, in the end, the decision is theirs to make.

4. Avoid talking about yourself too much

Being self-centered can make a good conversation fall into the dark pits of boredom. So, it is really important for you to talk in a general tone, discuss matters that are relatable for other people, and never make the conversation all about yourself.

5. Be concise

Don’t drag out a conversation. Keep it concise, and lighthearted. Talking unnecessarily about unrelated issues can make people lose interest in a discussion.

6. Try to relate

As previously mentioned, empathizing is one great way of providing another person with your thoughts and opinions. Try to place yourself in someone else’s situation and you will definitely have a much more meaningful conversation.

7. Make sure language isn’t a barrier

In case you are talking to someone from a different ethnicity, cultural, or social background, always try to make yourself more understandable by molding your language. Use easy words and speak clearly.

Beyond that, you can also make a real effort and learn their language to have an enriching conversation. For example, if you find yourself speaking to Japanese natives often, you might want to invest some time in learning Japanese.

8. Use their name occasionally

It’s been psychologically proven that when you call someone by their name, they listen to you more attentively. So, make use of this strategy in order to ensure that the next person is following closely what you are saying.

So, start practicing these tactics now for worthwhile discussions!

About the Author:
Lara Smith has worked for Wall Street English for 20 years. After studying at Stanford University and subsequently doing a CELTA course, she began her career in teaching. She is obsessed with languages and currently writes blogs at Mimic Method.

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