The art of meaningful conversation.
Stop! Collaborate and Listen this coming jolly season.
December can be a busy time of year. Christmas is fast approaching and often cause for many events, as is the coming new year and looming deadlines for tasks we may have imagined finishing in 2017. For many of us, the calendar is filled with extra activity and certainly more networking than usual.
Thanks to The Collective Hub for the inspiration for this article “When was the last time you felt happy and fulfilled by a conversation? Even if you’ve had one good chat lately, you’ll probably agree that most of your conversations leave you feeling nervous or hungry for more meaningful interaction.”
This might seem super obvious, but try to really listen. Be present. Don’t multitask or look at your phone, around the room, or at anyone other than the person who is speaking. Try to not think of your rebuttal or follow up questions and just focus on what the person is talking about.
Stop talking about just business
Finding common ground builds rapport quickly and helps to make meaningful connections. Ask about their other interests, what they are looking forward to or goals for the future. You might even find there is space to add value by offering contacts or help.
Be mindful of the time you are talking about yourself, ask open-ended questions of others like:
“How did that feel?” or “What do you think of that?” or “Why did that happen?”
Have patience while other people speak. Slow down for that moment and enjoy the conversation. Learn to tell stories that engage: context, key characters, linear storyline and explain the conflict.