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The Art of Conversation–The How-To List

Conversation is an art.   Not talking.   Talking is a verb.  Mastering the art of conversation is a common skill among successful people.  Have you ever wondered how some people can engage total strangers in conversation?   How about the man at the office who knows a little bit about every topic under the sun?   Certainly enough to carry on an intelligent conversation… without being a “know-it-all!”

“It was impossible to get a conversation going; everybody was talking too much.”   Yogi Berra

Have you noticed the person with whom it seems everyone wants to talk to at a meeting or party?   That person is either VERY FAMOUS or simply a good conversationalist.  People simply enjoy engaging in conversation with them.

Here are 7 Success Habits for Mastering the Art of Conversation:

  1. Begin the conversation by showing genuine interest. People are naturally drawn to people who are interested in them.
  2. Actively LISTEN.  Period.
  3. Stay abreast in current events in your company, community, and the nation and world at large. Have something interesting to contribute and know what is going on outside of self.
  4. Don’t disregard small talk. Small talk can be very important in relationship building.  If you really listen during an informal conversation, you can truly learn a great deal about a person.   And they can learn a great deal about you.  Make sure it’s positive.
  5. Do not monopolize the conversation.  That’s just talking too much.  A conversation is interactive.
  6. Make certain to use the person’s name at least once during the conversation. It helps you remember their name and it also makes the other person feel valued.   Too many times and it is overkill.  Know the difference.
  7. Do not monopolize someone’s time. Holding someone’s interest more than 10 minutes at a casual gathering or social event might appear to be aggressive behavior.  Know when to exit the conversation graciously and gracefully.

Remember, good conversational skills help form positive relationships as well as strengthen existing relationships.  Mastering the art of conversation is a success habit from which everyone can benefit.

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Judy W Bell

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