Learn Communication: Master the Art of Conversation in 4 Steps
Conversation is a social skill we are required to have to achieve better results in our personal and professional lives. It is also an Art and all forms of Art have their Masters. Yet to master the art of conversation you must be ready to learn communication and go beyond being a good communicator.
Mastering the art of conversation will enable you to persuade others to share your vision, communicate your ideas and it will be an extremely great tool to achieve success in your professional and personal life .
You want to be such a brilliant conversationalist that others will feel connected to your words and what is behind them and will want to have more!
A great starting point is to organize and clean up the ideas that you want to communicate before speaking. Cleaning up your ideas before starting a conversation means that you eliminate all unnecessary details.
When expressing yourself and telling a story, it’s important to be objective and deliver the most important point of your story as soon as possible so you will not bore your interlocutor before you even get to the point that matters, especially if you are talking within a group, where you have a limited time to share before it’s someone else’s turn.
You want people to spend more time and energy considering and processing your opinions and ideas, not having to filter unnecessary noise.
In a 2015 study from Microsoft Corp., Canadian Researchers used electroencephalograms to measure the attention span of 2000 participants. The results back up conclusions from other studies around the world: our attention span is diminishing significantly in the technological era. So it is extra important these days to cut to the chase!
Telling your story more efficiently as opposed to adorning it with much detail and confusion, as you scaffold through your line of thought, is an example of a good communication skill and it does make a substantial difference in how others perceive you and how you influence and inspire them.
Be curious and open-minded in conversations
It is important to come into conversation intrigued, open minded, and curious. An effective conversation is a two-way process, where actively listening is just as important as talking.
When you assume that you know what others are talking about in a conversation, you miss the great opportunity of learning and find out amazing things about others. You will come off as arrogant and standoffish which are not traits associated with a true expert in conversation.
A genuinely great conversationalist is humble and patient. If you rush through conversation, assuming you already know what will be said to you, you just get the surface, and you miss out on the amazing things about others that they are trying to tell you.
When you assume that you don’t know much about the topic, you are allowing your mind to hunt for treasures, the great stories and ideas that others want to share with you.
Good news is that the art of conversation can be learned, practiced and rehearsed. You don’t have to be a naturally good communicator or a very knowledgeable person to be a good conversationalist.
When you see people who are incredibly skilled in conversation, they are not only impressive but they also make you believe that they are just brilliant and natural storytellers who hold some kind of secret that you could never learn.
But this isn’t true. The reason that one can tell a story perfectly and on point is because he or she told that same story many times before, telling it a little bit better each time.
Our brains organize ideas in a way that is very different from the way we want to express those ideas clearly. A part of your brain stores information and your neurons fire as they connect concepts to create ideas. Then, you will need other neurons to turn those ideas into communication. We need to learn how to translate an idea from how it is ‘written’ in our brain to how we want to communicate it.
Use Trial and Error to Master the Art of Conversation
You must learn how to prepare yourself to express your ideas very effectively and this can only be done through a series of exercises and yes – trial and error! You must learn, practice and be ambitious while not taking it too seriously and especially not beating yourself up when you fail.
If you want to master conversation, you must be ready to be much more ambitious than the average person because you are aiming to use this tool for your personal and professional success, not only to be a pleasant person to talk to.
Being reasonably good at conversation is not that hard, but if you want to be great you must be ready to walk – and talk – that extra mile. You want to attain a level of skill that will make you stand out in the crowd and make people who meet you and talk to you to fall in love with your words.
What is the best way to get what you want from a conversation? You have to successfully express your ideas and your vision, those things that so far live only inside your mind, to someone else so they can see it too. Be prepared to take things slow and see how it works out.
Speaking is a challenge in itself for a lot of people. There are many people who out of nervousness speak out something wrong or inappropriate or just stay silent. They cannot ‘show’ what is inside their mind to others through words.
But even if this is your case, you cannot believe that you are doomed to be a bad conversationalist! The learning I’m talking about is possible for everyone. The first step is wanting to do it and you’ve already come this far.
Learn Communication: Listen before you speak
Conversation is not just about speaking. Isn’t it super annoying when someone can’t listen or pay attention to you because they are stuck in their own heads? Listening to what the other person is saying is one of the ultimate key points to be a conversation master. It shows not only that you are interested in the topic but it also shows respect for the other person. We have to make sure we listen before we speak!
You would never like or trust a person who disrespects you. Nobody will. When starting a conversation with someone, we need to make sure that we respect what he or she is saying and that this respect is mutual. Even if we don’t agree.
Disagreement doesn’t mean disrespect and nobody should make you believe otherwise. You might not agree with what the other person is saying but that does not imply that you should have a strong emotional reaction to it and the same works for your interlocutor(s). Like everything else in life, balance is key when it comes to conversation!
While it is important to eliminate unnecessary details when telling a story, it is also important to pay attention to the details in the stories that others tell you. This shows them that you are interested in their stories and in the conversation and it allows the bond between the two to develop and reinforce.
We feel naturally drawn to people who show that they care about what we say, that they are paying attention and we will therefore be likely to consider their opinions and ideas.
On the other hand, we avoid people who are so self-absorbed that we have to tell them the same thing multiple times to the point we stop caring about what they say or do at all. So don’t be that person, even if you disagree with someone’s point of view, allow them to share their view before you share your opinion on why their viewpoint is wrong.
Barriers to a Good Conversation
Shallow conversations, chit-chat and technology can constitute threats to good conversations. It is much easier to make small talk than to actually engage in a proper conversation. Our fast lives filled with fast and vacuous communication can make us wrongly believe that this poor communication makes up for good conversation and leave us numb, unprepared or even uninterested in having quality conversations.
Recognizing that a big part of the conversations we have are not significant or valuable makes us want to look for more meaningful conversations and ways to achieve them. Little things like choosing to wait to see a friend to talk instead of messaging everyday can be hard but if you have the option, why not wait?
To get better at conversation you need to get out there, you need to consistently practice conversation skills, make mistakes and learn from them. There is no other way. As we’ve seen, many people struggle because they see “naturals” and wrongly believe that social success should be natural. They wrongly believe that they shouldn’t have to work at it at all.
However, even if some of these people are naturally more outgoing, they still have to learn how to be social. How do they do this? By being social and getting themselves out there to be judged. Some of us learned how to socialize and be communicative while growing up, because of our family, our culture and background.
Others didn’t have that chance. But if this is your case, you have the chance to catch up by being more social now so please don’t feel like you’re falling behind. You can always improve your social skills by building your habits in a proactive way, click here if you want to learn more about habits.
There is always time to learn a new skill!
People have an easier time trusting and befriending those who are great conversationalists especially if they are socially skilled people themselves. If someone seems confident and honest when talking to us, we will feel like their ideas deserve our time and we will trust them to put these ideas into our minds. At home, school and work, conversation is key to developing good relationships. Especially if you have to talk to different people in different social groups, settings and contexts.
Take the Free Course to Master your Conversations
If you’re ready to improve your conversation skills and with it your life and relationships, the communication tools and tips included in the Free Online Course 11 Lessons to Mastering Conversation will push you in the right direction and help you achieve results.
Are you ready to make this positive difference in your life and start your journey to master conversation?
Through these 10 Lessons to Mastering Conversation you will learn and re-enforce how to be a good conversationalist, finding the balance between being both a good listener and a good speaker. Together we will go through several relevant aspects of good conversations such as how much of a conversation is more than words, the best conversation hooks, mistakes to avoid and the differences between arguments and discussions.
The road to a happier and fulfilled life is full of great stories. Are you ready to learn how to tell yours? Click the button below to Enroll now for Free.