10 Ways to have a Better Conversation

Man, have you noticed how hard it is these days to have a normal conversation? Everything is so divided, so polarized, that we aren’t talking to each other anymore. There’s no compromise, and speaking to family, friends and co-workers has gotten a lot harder. That’s why this video caught my eye recently.

Celeste Headlee speaks about 10 ways to have a better conversation. She’s funny and to the point. Here’s her 10 basic rules to make improvements …

  1. Don’t multi-task. Be present. Be in the moment.
  2. Don’t pontificate. Enter every conversation with a desire to learn.

    Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.  – Bill Nye

  3. Use open ended questions. Who, what, where, when and why. Let them describe it.
  4. Go with the flow. When listening, thoughts will come to mind, but let them go. You remember something, you stopped listening.
  5. If you don’t know, say you don’t know.
  6. Don’t equate your experience with theirs. It’s never the same, all experiences are individual, and it’s NOT about you.
  7. Try not to repeat yourself.
  8. Stay out of the weeds. Leave out all the details.
  9. Listening is the most important skill. Why do we not listen to each other? We’d rather talk. When we talk we are in control and the center of attention. It takes energy to pay attention.

    If your mouth is open, you’re not learning.  – Budda
    We listen with the intent to reply, not to understand.  – Steve Covey

  10. Be brief. Be interested in other people. Listen – Prepare to be amazed!

    A good conversation is like a mini-skirt; short enough to retain interest, but long enough to cover the subject.  – My Sister