Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Good Conversation

For this week's "Coffee Chat", Rory Bore of Time Out for Mom has asked what we think it takes to be a good conversationalist. As I have gotten older, I have learned a few things about myself, as well as others. Since we were asked, I will share some things about "good conversation" that I have learned. These are just my thoughts based upon my experience.

In any conversation, to share or make a point you need to know what it is that you want to say. One needs to have the facts straight. Try not to embellish. Let the truth stand on its own merit. 

As you speak, it is always good to allow others to reflect on or add to what you have said. Give and take expands the conversation. If they agree, common ground is established. If they disagree with you, allow them to. We can agree to disagree, and we can even learn from our differences. It is all about respecting one another.

Being loud tends to put people off, so it is best not to raise your voice to be heard. It does not change the truth of what is being said, nor does it make people listen to you. It actually can turn people away.

When others talk, try not to read between the lines or judge them. If you aren’t sure what they mean, politely ask them. Most people will be happy to explain, and don’t need others to clarify for them. If you still don’t understand, accept what is being said. You don’t have to understand to accept. 

Most importantly, listen to others when they speak. You just might learn something from what is said, perhaps about the speaker or possibly even about yourself.  By listening to others, they are more likely to listen to you. Learn to enjoy both sides of the conversation.

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18 comments:

  1. That is such good info and I so like you saying to listen to the person that you are having a conversation with. That is so important. You can learn so much about a person by just listening to them. Take care and have a great day.

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    1. Marg, I believe listening is essential. Indeed, you can learn so much about someone by listening to them. You can share by talking, but you can learn by listening. Conversations have to be balanced with both.

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  2. I agree with what you say. You always put lots of thoughts in what you write and I presume it's the same in what you say.
    Hugs,
    JB

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    1. Julia, you presume right. I do put a lot of thought into what I say. I think before I speak. And I listen carefully, too. Hugs.

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  3. Good points! The best conversation starters i've found are general questions -- people love to answer questions.

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    1. I agree, Mimi. General questions are safe. They help establish common ground.

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  4. I completely agree. I find that I listen much more than I talk and the one thing that really frustrates me is when someone you are 'conversing' with tries to over talk you or is so far ahead in the brain of what they want to say that they are not listening to a word you say.

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    1. That frustrates me, too. If it is a healthy conversation, it has to be mutual talking and listening. It is hard when someone talks over you, never really hearing what you say. Everybody loses.

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  5. Yep, that is pretty much how it works ... good that you are the "words" person and can put it in writing ...

    Andrea @ From ther Sol

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    1. Thanks, Andrea. You know my mind is always sorting, and I am always writing.

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  6. I love basking in your wisdom. :)

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    1. I'm not sure that is what it is. It seems like common sense to me. Thanks, my friend.

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  7. Wisdom or common sense - it all rings very good advice to me! 'Agree to disagree', 'accept even if you don't understand', 'listen to learn' - yep...
    I can't stand it when people get loud, in order to interrupt or shut you up, to make a point, to convince. The effect - on me - is the opposite. I go quiet and leave, soon. :)

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    1. I do, too. It shuts me down when I am not heard, especially when someone is rude or obnoxious. Thanks, Claudia.

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  8. I need those words coz I am not a good listener:)

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    1. Joy, I find that hard to imagine! You are so thoughtful.

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  9. You have mastered all those. I tend to be loud and love to embellish.

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    1. Queen, you are wonderful. You are an excellent conversationalist, a great storyteller, and endlessly entertaining.

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