Always in a hurry, but you want to communicate better? Celeste Headlee gives a great TED talk about how to have a better conversation, but if you want to save 12 minutes, here’s her ten tips for great conversations.
- Don’t multitask – Keep focused on the person with whom you are talking. Be present. Be in that moment. Be 100% committed to the conversation.
- Don’t pontificate – Assume you have something to learn through the conversation, instead of just sharing your personal opinions. Be open to their ideas.
- Use open-ended questions – Instead of asking yes/no questions, ask “what was that like” or “how did that feel”
- Go with the flow – Things will enter your mind, let them go in order to focus on the conversation you are in
- If you don’t know, say you don’t know
- Don’t equate your experiences with theirs – Your “similar” examples aren’t needed, the experiences are never the same. Remember the conversation isn’t about you only.
- Try not to repeat yourself – It can be boring and turn off your audience
- Stay out of the weeds – Details aren’t important
- Listen – really listen! Stay focused on the conversation. Listen to understand.
- Be brief
Having better conversations boils down to this: be interested in other people! Be open to other people and be prepared to be amazed.
If you’d like to listen to the full TED talk: www.ted.com/talks/celeste_headlee_10_ways_to_have_a_better_conversation
Want to learn more about communication? Let’s have a conversation! Valerie.MacLeod@HainesCentre.com