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Effective Communication Skills that Bring People Together

Aug 17, 2007
How can you use effective communication skills to create a conversation that leads to more than small talk?

Everybody has had a conversation that seems more like an interrogation then a friendly exchange. Drilling questions at each other is not a good way to talk. You really are not learning anything, but rather just saying anything to keep the conversation going.

Worse than just asking constant conversations is answering a question and then asking it back of the other person. That shows zero creativity and can come off as insincere.

The whole idea to a good conversation is where all parties involved really care what the others have to say. Having effective communication skills can lead to an interesting conversation.

In order to move on form small talk and into a real conversation you need to understand how. You may start out with simple questions like, 'What have you been up to?' or 'How is your family doing?'.

The idea is to take what you learn during this small talk and turn it into a conversation. The following list outlines how to do this.

1. Listen.

Really listen to what they say and how they answer your questions. If they seem hesitant in answering a question then that topic may be something they feel uncomfortable talking about.

If they seem to brighten up and really get excited about answering a question then this is where you can find something to talk more in depth about.

2. Body Language.

Watch the reactions you get from a person. If they have their arms crossed or are displaying a nervous habit then perhaps right now is not a good time to talk. You can ask or simply say you are sorry for taking their time.

You may actually find that conversation just makes them nervous or that they have something on their mind. In that case you can really open up a conversation if they want to talk.

3. Deal with questions.

If it seems questions are the main part of your conversation then it is up to you to turn this around. Answer a question with more detail that can lead into a good conversation.

Perhaps they ask about work, you can answer about work, but then lead into how you'd prefer to have more time for your hobby. This is a great way to make conversation.

4. End it.

If you really are not going anywhere just end the conversation politely. If you have something else to do or sense the other person has something to do then it is good to end the conversation.

There is no point in tying up time that can be better spent. You have actually laid the groundwork for your next conversation. The next time you speak with this person you can talk about what you had to rush off to do or ask how the rest of their day went.

These pointers are meant to give you a good idea of effective communication skills. Most small talk conversations seem overly polite and boring, so if you desire a better conversation use these tips to develop the small talk into a good conversation.
About the Author
Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert. He recently produced a very popular free report: 10 Simple Steps to Developing Communication Confidence. Apply now because it is available only at: make conversation
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