Our culture has changed a lot in the past twenty years. Some of the changes are positive. Some, not.
Some of the negative changes, I believe, have to do with the lack of little kindnesses that our parents and our grandparents learned about conversation, and showed to their friends and acquaintances.
Here are seven important conversational skills you can practice that will make people absolutely love to be around you:
- Don’t barge in. When you see two friends in a conversation, wait until it’s appropriate to join them. They may be in the middle of a very private, or sensitive conversation. If you barge in, they may greet you politely, but at least one of those friends—usually the one who was talking—may be exasperated by your intrusion.
- Be fair. Many people aren’t aware of how they habitually dominate conversations. Are you one of them? Ask someone who will tell you the truth. If you are indeed a conversation hog, stop it!
- When it’s the other person’s turn to talk, do your eyes glaze over because the topic isn’t about you or yours? That shows a lack of love for the talker. Ask Jesus, the Master conversationalist, to help you love as He loves.
- When someone shares a new challenge or struggle, please don’t turn it around so that you are now talking about your own struggle. You may not see the resentment on your friend’s face, but, believe me, it’s there!
- Be interested, sincerely interested in the other person. Ask questions. When you see him or her again, refer back to your conversation and how you appreciated what the other person shared with you.
- Don’t give advice unless it’s requested.
- Discretion. Never share what the other has shared with you in confidence.
There you go. We all know people who break all of these suggestions, and others who exemplify a great conversationalist.
Wanna be be a valued communicator? Examine your conversational style and work to change your negative habits.