Lessons in life, Personal development

How to have great conversations?

You might be thinking; you are a personal development blogger. How does this relate.?Everyone can talk. First things first; no, not everyone knows how to talk effectively. And secondly, if you want to learn more, become successful or connect with people you MUST know how to effectively communicate with others. Also in this society where shock value of a conversation is way more important than actually getting forward with topics that might have multiple view; I feel it is essential to learn how to communicate effectively and to learn from one another!

Let’s define terms

What does a conversation mean. A dictionary definition is: ” a talk, especially an informal one, between two or more people, in which news and ideas are exchanged.” How would I define a great conversations? A great conversation, is where both participants get a voice, both state their opinions/experiences and are able to; despite potentially disagreeing with other, be civil. In a great conversation, even if it ends with people “agreeing to disagreeing”, both participants feel listened and respected. This conversation, despite it being emotional, political or tied to ones identity, remains civil and no slurs, raising of the voice or argument( heated one) is anywhere to be seen.

Very short a sweet things to consider when having a conversation;

  1. How emotionally stable am I right now, to have this conversation?
  2. Do I actually have the facts, to base my opinions on?
  3. Am I capable of being an adult in this situation, since I am so emotionally invested in the topic?
  4. If I know someone wants to criticize me, can I without referring to childish ways of “You started it”, have it or should I ask them to come back to the topic later?
  5. This is the right time, place and am I in the right mindset right now, to start this conversation.

Very great change starts from very small conversations held among people who care

Margaret J. Wheatley

Here are the 5 short tips in a longer form:

1. Don’t yell/cry/ have a tantrum

You want to seems intelligent and level headed. This doesn’t mean you can’t show feelings, just make sure that those feelings don’t come out as a protection mechanism. It often does goes like this to me, and trust me when I say that it has never helped me to get my point across… other way around. I am extremely emotional. And often I start crying if I am angry/frustrated. This just makes me seem younger and not as mature in the conversation, meaning that even the points that are valid, that I would make are disregarded… because I am crying.

2. Do not make statements that sound like you know what you are talking about, but are actually bs.

For example; “billions of women are mistreated everyday. I read about it just yesterday”. A) If you read about something yesterday, you probably remember the source. B) Unless the number is actually billion(s) you shouldn’t use that word for shock value. Stay to the facts, or make sure to make clear that that point is your understanding of the situation, not 100% fact.

3. Don’t get personal with someone just because you feel strongly about the subject.

If someone is being sexist, you should say things like “Well you were probably abused as a kid, and this is why you are being so fucked up right now.” There is no reason to assume that, and just because someone’s opinion hurts you, doesn’t mean you should hurt them back. Most of the time it is more healthy to rather not have a conversation with someone than to become verbally abusive in the situation. Even if the person is actually wrong in that case.

A conversation is a dialogue, not a monologue, that’s why there are so few conversations; due to scarcity, two intelligent talkers seldom meet.”

Truman Capote

4. If someone is giving you criticism, responding back with criticism.

It is selfish, childish and it won’t take the conversation forward. There are two ways to react to criticism. 1) Note that this sound actually truthful and you should probably take this into consideration. If this thing you are criticized for hurts others, apologize. 2) Realize this doesn’t apply to you and try to explain why you disagree. If you can’t come up with an understanding, let the conversation die out and live your life

5.When starting a conversation doing it in an attacking kind of way.

We all know with extremes that it is probably not the greatest time to break up with someone if their parent just died. You shouldn’t point out someone’s problems when they are down. Having a conversation, especially where you are planning on criticizing someone, is important that you do it, when they are in a receptive mode. (This doesn’t mean you should break up with someone on their b-day or something like that either….)

If some topics interest you, say racism, feminism, religion etc etc. You should research before trying to have a debate/conversation with someone. If this conversation is totally spontaneous, explain your points clearly, or if you notice that you can’t verbalize yourself in a way you want to. Tell that to the other person. There is no shame, in saying that you don’t feel comfortable talking about something due to lack of knowledge or because you are uncomfortable.

So shortly;

Don’t be too emotional, don’t get on a high horse, don’t be a bitch, don’t get defensive and don’t attack. It is very simple… very very simple. And people seem to just decide to muck it all up, because of feelings and because of EGO….. Also I am noooooot on a high horse right now. I have made pretty much every single one of these mistakes in some type of fashion.

Here are some great resources in order to be more educated, be a better communicator and also just how to keep a conversation up, so that it doesn’t become awkward. I will also link some posts on similar topics written by me ๐Ÿ™‚

Ted Talk – Celeste Headlee: How to have a good conversation

Practical Psychology on YouTube. They have a great vault of new ideas, information and tips and trick, not only for communicating more “fluently” but also to just learn more things and having more interesting topics to discuss.

How to not be that polarizing in conversations

Charisma on Command : I must admit, I have binge watched these videos more than on one occasion. He has a great way to analyze a persons actions (positive and negative) and show through very clear example of how to command respect, how to be funny and how to despite not always being correct, being able to have a proper and respectful conversation. If you want to become a public speaker, a good writer or a likable person in general, you should totally check this channel out !

Now to the posts I have written that I think you will benefit from: Not everyone listens; do you? , Learning and age, 10 simple things I do for a positivity boost

As always thank you for reading. Please don’t hesitate to comment and let’s start conversations.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply