The other day I had a — much needed — chat with my dear friend Nicki.
Despite the many miles we live apart and the many moons that can pass between visits, our conversations are ALWAYS uplifting.
Every time we catch up, the warmth and tone in her voice tells me she loves me and is truly interested in how I am. What a blessing…
I’m reminded of an article of mine she inspired about having great conversations.
Don’t get me wrong, I love social media, but nothing compares to connecting with a darling friend for a much needed one-on-one.
The problem I used to have was distractibility. Both mine and theirs; whether it’s checking the phone, looking over shoulders ...or, especially in my case, a wandering mind.
It’s not that I wasn’t interested, I simply hadn’t learned how to have a conversation!
So, I paid close attention to my lovely friend with the gift of gab. It’s actually more of an art than a gift, and listening more than gab…and she has perfected it!
I remember years ago, having a rather out-of-body experience, as I watched her effortlessly and elegantly weave her way with; “I was just reading...” I heard...” “...isn’t that interesting? upsetting? funny? can you believe it? etc....”
And, then…are you sitting down? She’d listen!
She would listen. And by engaging specifically with what I said, it was obvious she heard me and was interested.
Whereas, my past tendency had been to lead the conversation to some sort of outcome, or opinion, instead of having it be an experience and destination created by two parties.
But, thankfully, this has changed! And it can change or improve for you, too!
Much like last week’s blog on engaging life. Engaging in conversation is also something you can practice and truly love.
Here are a few tips that have made all the difference for me:
1. Next time you have a coffee date with a friend, a happy hour, dinner or party scheduled, spend a little time that day (could be as little as 10–15 minutes) catching up on current affairs: This can be as simple as skimming the paper, your favorite magazine, website, or putting on the news while you’re getting ready.
2. Have you recently read a good book? Or, are reading a good book?...that’s a great source, too.
3. Don’t over think it, just mentally review what is catching your interest on that day, and; A. comment about it, B. say what you think/feel about it, and C. ask their take on it.
4. Listen and ask questions...and, follow up questions. Be interested in them and their ideas.
5. Relax, enjoy and see where the conversation takes you!
Whatever your conversational challenges may be, remember to trust the process. The more you put yourself out there, the easier it will get, and the more you’ll enjoy yourself. I promise!
What are your conversational challenges?
What are some of your favorite tips, topics and icebreakers?
Please comment so that we can all add to our tool kit…but, most importantly, get out there and start a conversation!
And, be sure to check out my gal Nicki and her amazing trend forecasting biz Trend House!
As always, I’m in your corner…
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photo credit: jurvetson via photo pin cc
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