Three Skills to Improve Conversation
By: Brian Tracy
One key to becoming a great conversationalist is to pause before replying. A short pause, of three to five seconds, is a very classy thing to do in a conversation. When you pause, you accomplish three goals simultaneously.
The Benefits of Pausing
First, you avoid running the risk of interrupting if the other person is just catching his or her breath before continuing.
Second, you show the other person that you are giving careful consideration to his or her words by not jumping in with your own comments at the earliest opportunity.
The third benefit of pausing is that you will actually hear the other person better. His or her words will soak into a deeper level of your mind and you will understand what he or she is saying with greater clarity. By pausing, you mark yourself as a brilliant conversationalist.
Another way to become a great conversationalist is to question for clarification. Never assume that you understand what the person is saying or trying to say. Instead, ask, “How do you mean, exactly?”This is the most powerful question I’ve ever learned for controlling a conversation. It is almost impossible not to answer. When you ask, “How do you mean?” the other person cannot stop himself or herself from answering more extensively. You can then follow up with other open-ended questions and keep the conversation rolling along.
I consider this such excellent advice but the first person who told me to do this was not Brian Tracy (as great as his Quotes of the Day are) but my colleague, friend and “Guru” John Donnelly. Thanks John!
Why not attend his FREE Workshop – The Networking Whistle Blower – and see for yourself…