Being an effective communicator is an essential skill to master to assist you in both your personal and professional life. However, having good conversation skills does not always come easily even though anyone can improve them.
You may be looking for some help to make those awkward silences a thing of the past. We don’t often talk about mastering good conversation skills. However, it is a skill we use every day.
In this article, we will go through 8 science-based hacks. All of these will help you to fine-tune your conversation skills and learn the art of conversation.
Improve Your Conversation Skills with these Science-Based Hacks
Recognize the importance of listening
Mastering your conversation skills may first bring to mind improving how you speak. However, the art of a good conversation involves excellent listening skills. We can get so wrapped up in what we plan to say in our conversations that we lose our listening skills. As a result, we don’t pay attention to what the other person is saying.
Psychologists Carl Rogers and Richard Farson pioneered the concept of active listening. This is where you are fully focused on what the other person is saying.
In addition, you allow them the time to say their piece without interrupting to offer advice. While it may feel like there are some silences, these are important to allow your companion to say what they need to say. This demonstrates that you are really listening to them.
When you practice active listening, there needs to be an appropriate response when the other person has finished speaking. Another important conversation skill is the ability to summarise what you have heard.
This serves to reaffirm what the other person has said. Thus showing them that you listened and understand. Demonstrate you are interested in what they have to say by actively listening. Then you can be fully engaged in the conversation.
We have all been subjected to a one-sided conversation in our time. Experiencing someone purely talk about themselves can be frustrating. Our self-esteem is knocked if we feel that what we say is not valued. An excellent conversation skill to improve is the art of asking questions.
While we may not like to admit it, talking about ourselves is enjoyable. Therefore, asking the other person questions about what they are saying is a key way to ensure that you have a conversation to remember.
Find some similarities
Of course, you don’t want the conversation to be one-sided. A conversation is a two-way street after all. A good conversation skill to put to work which will get your own experiences and ideas into the conversation is to find a similarity between yourself and the person you are speaking with.
Finding common ground will help the conversation flow. It also won’t be surprising to hear that we generally like people more when they are similar to us. So this trick will help build relationships with both friends and work colleagues.
It isn’t just what we say that gets a good conversation going. It’s how we use non-verbal communication that is also a key conversation skill. Maintaining good eye contact is difficult.
However, it lets someone know you are engaged in the conversation. Facing someone as they speak is also a good way of letting them know they have your full attention.
Use a person’s name when you talk to them. You often see politicians do this. They create a powerful bond with the listener. This is because we intrinsically link an individual’s identity with their name.
For this reason, using a person’s name (and ensuring you say it correctly) is a good conversational skill to master. Especially when you have just met someone.
Saying their name will help someone feel endeared to you. You are attempting to capture their attention. Research has highlighted the importance of using names in our interactions. It demonstrates that using a person’s name can mean that they are more likely to help you and make a purchase from you.
Offer a compliment
It might sound cheesy, but complimenting someone is a great way to keep the conversation going. Especially if you feel like it is drawing to a close. Not only will it make the recipient feel good about themselves, but it will also open the door for another topic of conversation to continue.
Offering a compliment is also a great conversation starter. Particularly if you are searching for something to kick off the conversation.
There is nothing wrong with small talk
While some find small talk a bore, it is often the way to get into more fulfilling and deeper conversations. Small talk is an important conversation skill. It gets the conversation started. In fact, in some situations, it is incredibly useful.
For example, there is a range of topics that are common ground for many people. Just think of the weather, asking someone what they have done today, or commenting on an event you are both at.
Mastering the art of conversation and improving your conversation skills is an important string to have to your bow. It helps both your personal relationships and your professional ones. With these 8 science-based hacks, your conversations are sure to be more enriching and enjoyable.
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