personal deelopment and self empowerment

        Enhancing Your Conversation Skills

   All of us intuitively know when we are about to have a difficult conversation with somebody. Yet, there are still a few of us who do not have any trouble striking up random conversations.

 Usually, difficulty happens when we know that there is a likely chance that negative feedback will occur.

   Some conversations may also seem difficult because we think that there are just too many things at stake.

   We may have already taken a position where a retraction would lead to embarrassment.

   Which is why it's important that we reflect on things before we put our foot in our mouths.

   Here are a few guide questions we can ask ourselves before we get into a form of interaction:

         1. What do I want from this conversation?
      2. What can I expect from it?
      3. What sort of fears will crop up midway?
      4. Am I making assumptions about the person I'm about to talk to?
      5. Am I willing to listen and understand?

   For interaction to be successful, we need to step out of the box and be objective about everything. There are so many things to talk about. You can start by asking about the person and his or her background. Move on from there and try not to put too much into it, otherwise things will just come out too contrived. If the person refuses to make any effort, then stop blaming yourself. After all, it takes two to tango.

   People who refuse to open up are less likely to achieve popularity. You need to stop putting all the blame on yourself. When you meet people like this, all you need to do is politely walk away. Say goodbye and move on to a more open individual.

   You need to understand other people: what motivates them and how they think. More than that, you need to accurately read their body language. People who are genuinely interested will look at you in the eye and listen to what you have to say.

   To be good at reading a person's thought needs practice. Get yourself out there and learn. After all, it is only through constant exposure will you learn the ins and outs of a situation.

   You also need to be in touch with yourself and your code of ethics. It takes practice to observe the dynamics between two people. You need to have the courage to explore the community you live in. Culture plays a big part in forming a person's frame of mind. Understand what that person believes in and what is important to them.

   The person will be more responsive if they feel that you sympathize with their beliefs. You need not embrace their principles, but at least be willing to understand the why's and what's of it all.

   The success of a dialogue is highly dependent on emotional awareness. When people see that you are trying to understand them and at the same time, give them unobstructed inputs of your views, then they will be more willing to get to know you more. Good conversational skills will make that happen more often.

                                                                                       Richard Rossbauer
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