One of the most difficult things about the worst of the last two years is how isolated everyone felt.
Sure, there was Zoom and phone calls, but it’s hard to replicate the connection of being in the same room as someone and having a good conversation.
And as The Wall Street Journal points out, you absolutely can become out of practice at being a good conversationalist if you go too long without connecting.
So how do you become better at having more meaningful talks?
Find the Right Person
It’s easiest to practice with someone you already know, so try starting with someone you are comfortable with. But see if you are able to expand your conversation into new areas that the two of you have not discussed before.
A lot of people are reluctant to be the first to share something with someone. What if they feel like you’re hogging the conversation, or oversharing?
You don’t have to confess your deepest fear or anything but move beyond small talk. Let the other person know about something exciting you have going on.
Stop Asking Simple Questions
Some people don’t need much prodding to engage. But with others, if your question can be answered with just one word, they’ll do so.
Ask something open-ended and go beyond the basics of asking about work or school. Give the other person something interesting to latch onto.
If you want to foster a relationship where meaningful conversations are commonplace, be sure to let the other person know you appreciate those talks after having one.
You don’t want them to come away feeling like you did them a favor by letting them talk about something that excites them. Encourage them to share.
Deeper conversations don’t have to just be reserved for family or romantic interests. Even getting to know coworkers better can help you understand them in a new way and develop a strong bond that you didn’t know one was possible.
Do you still feel like your conversation skills are a bit rusty and want some more tips? Check out The Wall Street Journal piece here.
Dr. Grace Lee has tips for having more meaningful conversations by asking better questions.
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