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Who doesn’t know how to have a conversation, right?

The answer is…plenty of people! We’re typically not taught how to converse and yet this skill is central to many day-to-day social and business tasks including:

1. Interviewing for a new job

2. Networking at a business mixer

3. Delivering a presentation

4. Meeting with a client

5. Speaking on the phone

6. Dating

Unfortunately many of us actually believe that we’re effective conversationalists, when in reality that’s simply not true (you may have been on the receiving end and know exactly what I’m talking about). It can be a painful experience!

It all comes down to understanding the speaker-listener interaction cycle, which means that ultimately each of us should shift back and forth between being the speaker to being the listener.  Too often we tend to get in one of these roles and stay there, which is ill-advised.

As a speaker, strive to: organize your message, speak succinctly, periodically ask questions, use effective non-verbal language to enhance your message and most of all make it easy for your listener to follow you.

As a listener, strive to: attend to what you’re hearing, ask clarifying questions, signal your level of understanding, listen between the lines by observing non-verbal language and periodically paraphrase what you believe you’ve just heard.

Developing conversational skills will serve you well in your personal and business life.  No matter how technologically savvy you may be, nothing replaces the value and benefit of connecting via conversation.

Here’s a short video on this topic: click here to watch video

Hope your next conversation is engaging.

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