Every day we talk to people. We do it so often that it usually feels very easy and natural. But in group discussions, like during business meetings, social events, or meeting new people while travelling, many people struggle and prefer to stay quiet.
Being quiet is not automatically bad. There’s nothing wrong with being less chatty than others. However, staying quiet in a group discussion is interpreted as being shy, withdrawn, and having a lack of confidence. Worse, it’s sometimes considered as being rude. Staying quiet in group discussions can be a liability when it comes to your career, business, or social life.
Why conversation is so valuable and important:
- Conversation creates connection: The more you talk to someone, the more you get to know them and bond. Conversation can inspire and motivate. And the joy of connecting & making new friends is one of life’s great rewards.
- Conversation is the life-blood of relationships: Without conversation, relationships die. This is why the first sign of a deteriorating relationship is when a couple stops talking to each other. And not just romantic relationships either. Friends, families, colleagues, and bosses need to regularly talk to keep the connection alive. When the conversation is lively and vibrant, the relationship is healthy and strong.
- Conversation gives you a sense of value: Conversation is a two-way street. When someone takes the time to listen to you, they are showing appreciation for you. They may not agree with you about everything, but they value your perspective.
Master the art of conversation and people will enjoy your compa ny. Here are some do’s and don’ts:
- Be kind. Don’t be untruthful, but also don’t feel the need to be hurtful. People will remember how you make them feel and not what you say. Mind your body language too.
- Don’t be long-winded and repetitious. Get rid of the excessive details and fluff. When you’re expressing yourself, making a point, or telling a story, share only the important details to keep your listener’s attention & interest. Also, don’t overshare. People don’t need to know your life story.
- Listen, put away your phone and don’t interrupt. Interrupting tells the person speaking that you don’t care what they have to say. Looking at your phone is exactly the same. Make eye contact while listening.
Possessing the art of conversation improves personal, social, and work relationships. So, join the conversation and make little contributions. It’s better than remaining totally mute!
Best of health,