Business Etiquette NewsletterNetworking

Business Conversation Is A Balance

Much has been written and said about the art of conversation. It comes easily to some, and for others, it is a struggle to get a dialogue underway and keep it going.  In the business world, you need good conversation skills to build relationships with your clients and your colleagues.  The more you know about your clients, the better you can serve them. The more you understand your colleagues, the better you can work with them.

Like so much in life, good conversation is a matter of maintaining balance.  It’s a blend of speaking and listening.  Paying attention to what other people are saying is key to making them feel important and to keeping a natural conversational flow.  Even the most well intentioned business people can kill a conversation without realizing what they have done.  Here a few of the classic types who have earned the title, “Conversation Killer.”

The Interrogator.  This is the person who read somewhere that asking questions is the secret to maintaining a dialogue.  The result is a barrage of questions fired at the other person until he is completely worn down.  By commenting and reflecting on what people are saying, you can avoid making them feel as if they are being grilled by the local police.

The Interrupter.  This person doesn’t take the time to hear the other person out.  It is frustrating and rude to jump into the middle of someone else’s sentence and the Interrupter never learns enough about the other person to create a real relationship.

The Advisor.
  This killer believes he is keeping the balance.  He has heard what was said and is now offering his advice.  The problem here is that nobody asked what he thought.  Keep your opinion to yourself unless you hear, “What would you do?” or “What do you think?”

The One-Upper.  This individual can hardly wait for you to finish your story so he can go you one better.  So you had a skiing accident and broke your ankle?  Well, he fell off a mountain and was in a body cast for a year.  Whatever you have to say, he’ll top it.

“Been there, done that.”  Think of how you feel when someone mutters that phrase.  It’s like a bucket of cold water on what might have been a warm conversation.  If the other person has been there and done that, there is nowhere left to go and nothing left to say.

Good conversation is give and take.  Everybody participates by listening to what is said, acknowledging it and offering a response.  Sometimes it feels like work, but after all, you are trying to establish rapport, build your business and make more money.  That is work.

Happy conversing!

professional speaker
Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website,

Lydia Ramsey

Lydia Ramsey is a leading business etiquette and modern manners expert who offers seminars, keynote speeches, webinars and individual coaching. She works with corporations, associations, colleges and universities as well as individuals.

2 thoughts on “Business Conversation Is A Balance

  • Thank you for those very kind words. Try writing. It just takes time and practice. Best to you, Lydia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *