Being good at conversation is a skill that you need to develop if you want to get ahead in business. It is relatively easy to learn even if you think of yourself as shy. If you do it right, the other person does the majority of the work and enjoys every minute of it. The secret is not to do all the talking but to focus on the other person and listen to what they have to say.
A good conversationalist asks questions. It is not necessary to act as if you know it all. If you don’t have a clue what the other person is talking about, ask. Not only will you learn something, but you will also stimulate more conversation.
Listen to the other person, and remember that listening is not a passive act. Use your mind as well as your ears so that you absorb what is being said. Unless you think about what you are hearing, you can’t respond appropriately.
Pay attention to body signals. If you look at other people when you are speaking, make eye contact with them and check out their posture, you will know if you are holding their attention or boring them to tears. When they look away from you or begin to slump over, you have either lost their interest or worn them down with words.
Make sure that the signals you send tell the person that you are listening. That means facing people, looking into their eyes, nodding from time to time, and paraphrasing or repeating what they have said.
Most importantly, wait until the other person has finished speaking before you start to talk. Resist the urge to complete someone else’s thought or jump in with a response mid-sentence. No matter how enlightening your next comment may be, the person who is rudely interrupted will not be impressed. Talk with intention, but listen intently.For more information on being a good conversationalist in business, you can purchase Networking Magic: Connecting With Confidence live on DVD. Being comfortable talking with others on a professional or personal level helps you develop more profitable relationships. Use the coupon code NETWORKING (a 20% discount) when you check out so you don’t leave the office without these must-have strategies.
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.