You want to make conversation with someone at your office or at an event, but you always feel like a conversationalist dud. So, what do you do?
You follow these conversation tactics to embrace a more social you.
Ask for Advice
Asking a person for advice is a great way to keep a conversation going, influence people and make them warm up to you.
Also, people like getting the chance to feel as though their advice is important.
This has been proven to work well numerous times and in a variety of business/social situations. Some examples of research in the area include work done by Robert Cialdini (Professor at Arizona State University) and Adam Grant (Professor at Wharton).
People enjoy a good time gossiping, but getting involved with negative gossip can reflect badly upon you.
Gossip can color the way people view you. Research has shown that people unconsciously associate you the traits you are describing. So if you are saying good things about another person, you are seen in a positive light and if you are saying negative things, then those characteristics are applied to you.
This could also lead them to be turned off by what you’re saying or even make them wonder what you may say about them behind their backs. A surefire way to stop a conversation cold.
Become a Listener
People love being able to talk about themselves and their lives.
Researchers have even found that it is as pleasurable and triggers the same feelings as money or food.
Therefore, by encouraging a person to talk about themselves, you’re putting them in a good mood and making them enjoy the conversation.
Use Feedback and Questions
As per the NeuroLeadership Institute, not only should you be a listener, but you should be an active listener that uses feedback and questions to dig deeper into the conversation.
If the other person seeks out your help about something, or if you want to provide feedback, or point out a correction, asking questions can help them to come up a potential solution, or see a flaw in their thinking, on their own.
This is a positive and non-threatening approach.
The two-questions method is also meant to help put the person, with whom you want to converse, in a good mood.
As per Daniel Kahneman, Professor at Princeton and Nobel Laureate, this method can turn your normal small talk game upside down, but it works.
The first question you should ask the other person is about something positive in his or her life. Then, after you’ve heard about this positive thing, you should then inquire about the person’s life overall.
After the first question, the other person should be in a more positive frame of mind and they will answer the follow-up question(s) enthusiastically.
Conversations will come so much easier to you when you start employing these tactics. You may find what works for one person may not work with another, so vary your conversation game. You’ll be able to make and hold great conversations with just a bit of practice.