If you really think about it the people that are most important to you in your life are those that listen to you, really listen. It’s fair to say that a person that is enjoyable to talk to is also a person that can be considered a good listener but having a great conversation with someone is a two way street and give and take is essential. So how do you know if you are a good conversationalist?
The first step to a good conversation is listen first, speak second. That may sound simple enough but it’s surprising how many people lack this basic communication skill and listening does not just mean using your ears. Paying attention to the other person’s expressions, body language, tone of voice and looking them in the eyes tells that that you are paying attention to their words, that you care.
Make sure that you are giving the other person a chance to speak. When we are involved in a conversation that is interesting or exciting to us we sometimes tend to talk more than we listen. With practice you can learn to take a breather once in a while to make sure that the other person has a fair chance to voice their opinion. Dominating a conversation means that you are not truly listening and your partner is sure to notice.
Asking questions is another way to let the other person know that you are interested in what they are saying and that you are paying attention. Everyone appreciates the opportunity to voice their opinion and the more questions that you ask, the more they will appreciate it!
Be sure that your expression and mannerisms match your words. What do I mean by this? Have you ever told someone a joke and after the punch line they said something like “Wow, that’s really funny” but you noticed they didn’t even smile? How about someone that keeps saying things like “yeah”, “uh huh”, “sure” but they aren’t even looking at you when they’re saying it? It’s easy to tell that they are being polite but they aren’t really paying attention to what you are saying.
Learning to be a good conversationalist is easy to do if you pay attention to these few simple rules of conduct. You may find that making new friends is much easier and your business will flourish because clients will know that you are sincere.