How to Have a Better Conversation
We can all become better conversationalists. And when learning English, you can also focus on improving your communication skills in general. That’s one benefit of learning a foreign language.
In this episode, I share lessons from a Ted Talk called 10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation.
Focus on what “way” at a time, and become better at not just English, but communicating in general.
- Don’t multitask – be present
- Don’t pontificate “Everyone you will ever meet knows something that you don’t” (Bill Nye)
- Ask open-ended questions – start with who, what, when, where, why or how
- Go with the flow – whatever you think of, let it go
- If you don’t know, say that you don’t know
- Don’t equate your experience with theirs – all experiences are individual – it is NOT about you
- Try not to repeat yourself – it’s condescending and boring
- Stay out of the weeds
- LISTEN – the most important one – “If your mouth is open you’re not learning” (Buddha) – “Nobody ever listened his way out of a job” (Calvin Coolidge)
- Be brief
This Episode’s Vocabulary
enlightened – give (someone) greater knowledge and understanding about a subject or situation
awkward – causing or feeling embarrassment or inconvenience
equate – to connect with something that is equal
to be in the weeds – to be stuck, in a bad situation that is hard to get out of
to leave out = exclude, not include in a larger group
to boil down to – to talk about the main essence or idea of something; the principle point
“So, my husband wanted to leave me because he said, “I talk too much,” but I was able to talk him out of it.”
*to talk (someone) out of something is to CONVINCE them to do something different, usually by talking a lot. So the husband was “talked out of” leaving his wife, by his wife who already talks too much. She never stops talking!! 🙂