A lot of people worry about the start of a conversation, and I don’t blame them, because starting a conversation is no easy feat. Luckily, I shared some tips and examples on how you could start a conversation in last week’s blog. This week, I want to walk you through the next step in a conversation, namely how to keep it going after you’ve managed to start it.
Tip #1 “Be interested, not interesting.” Don’t make the conversation about you. Don’t bombard the other person with cool facts and impressive achievements. Instead, listen to what they say:
Embrace small talk – it is often overlooked yet important! Some people might wish to skip the small talk and directly go to the subject at hand. I don’t recommend doing this. For English speakers, being relatable is of utmost importance, especially if you have something to gain from the conversation, be it on the job or on vacation.
Find common ground. Doing so creates a connection between you and your partner and makes you much more likeable. It doesn’t have to be something grand; a simple “same here!” is enough to set the stage and redirect the conversation to something that both of you are passionate about.
And finally, as nice as it is to have a nice flow going, it’s essential to know when to end a conversation. In fact, it’s better to end a conversation prematurely rather than to let it drag on. That way both of you will look forward to your next conversation instead of dreading it being drawn out a second time.
Also, make sure to plan ahead! It’s so much more reassuring when you have a few topics you can fall back on when you have no ideas left. For example, a few respectful topics could be the weather, food, and family. Or perhaps before a Zoom meeting, take a few minutes to make a summary of your day. That way, when someone asks what you’ve been up to lately, you have something interesting to say instead of the same old “not much” or “very good”.
Now that you know some tips and tricks, the key is to practice! Tell me when you use these tips and let me know how well they worked!