Building Empathetic Conversation Skills is More Important Now Than Ever
In our current climate we don’t get many chances to have face-to-face conversations with each other. Nonetheless, whether they are in-person or over Zoom every conversation is an opportunity to present yourself in the best light and make an impact. Whether you are speaking to your best friend or your boss, it is important to know how to deliver and receive information with confidence and authenticity. The tips in this blog will allow you to better understand how to approach and methodize each conversation so that you and the person you are speaking with walk away feeling satisfied, inspired, and impressed.
Mentally set your intention at the beginning of the conversation.
We set goals for everything in life, but we don’t often think about determining a goal for something small like a conversation. On the contrary, setting your intention beforehand can have a very positive impact on the outcome on your conversation and help it maintain a concise manner. At the start of your interaction decide what it is that you want to receive from or give to this conversation. This goal can be as simple as “I want to learn more about them” and can be set at any time internally before the conversation starts. This starting point helps us guide the conversation and avoid awkward lulls that can tend to happen if there is no direction or flow.
Embrace your imperfections.
Our society has always been obsessed with the pursuit of perfection, and that pressure oozes into our conversations and derails our authenticity. Many people worry about trying to seem like they have it all together when talking with others and especially when talking with those who are in some way a superior to them. Showing your flaws actually allows people to bond with you because it conveys your relatability. An article from ScienceOfPeople.com asserts, “This vulnerability effect has been shown over and over again in the research. When we admit to weakness, others connect with us and see us as more likable.” Having the ability to acknowledge your imperfections and mistakes actually increases your charisma because our vulnerabilities are what relates us to each other so much more than our skills, triumphs, or streaks of “perfection.”
Don’t be a conversational narcissist.
According to LinkageInc.com, “The term “conversational narcissist” was coined by sociologist Charles Derber who describes the trait of consistently turning a conversation back to yourself.” Can you think of anyone you know? Don’t be so quick to blame them because many people who are conversational narcissists aren’t always aware that they take over conversations, and they may be nervous, overly ambitious, or just very talkative. For this reason, it is important to evaluate yourself and understand how to drive your communication. Keep in mind the first two points. You want to achieve the purpose of the conversation which does in fact require another’s input. You also want to build a connection with this person, so make sure you are actively listening to them
Conversational skills haven’t exactly been a hot topic in professional development especially considering that most of the technological advancements of the last few decades have cut down on the necessity for in-person conversations. We’ve become accustomed to cutting out as many conversations as possible and consequentially devalue them in our daily lives. However, conversations are the vessel by which we build deep, meaningful connections with others. Now more than ever, it is essential that we cultivate our conversation skills so that our physical distance doesn’t become relational distance.
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