Thoughts on Deep Conversation


Below are some thoughts on listening and conversation from an elder in the neighborhood I grew up in...

MASTER THE ART OF CONVERSATION
Leave the conversant with good feelings

John Nance in his book Conquering Deception states, “Every verbal encounter we have with another person is a conversation-whether we are buying hamburger, buying a new car, expressing dissatisfaction with a sales clerk, or giving courtroom testimony………..whether at work or home, impacts our success or failures.”
Well directed conversation is a key to successful interpersonal relationships and rests on two pillars, intense listening and well crafted questioning. Importantly, and this is most important, the questioner gains the ability to divert conversation from boring topics.
Good listening involves freeing the mind of criticism and not drifting to I, me, we, as,” Well, let me tell you about my experience.” Head nodding, steady eye contact, and widening the eye lids, signal approval.
Todd Kashdan and Paul Rose, doctorate candidates in clinical psychology, revealed that being nosey, but not too nosey, is a turn-on. Who doesn’t like being around someone who seems more interest in your life than their own?
In summary:
Listening:
Focus intently on the speaker’s topic
Avoid I, me, we
Avoid criticism
Confirm interest by appropriate head nod, tilt, and eye contact.
Questioning:
General:
What is your opinion?
Tell me more about
Teach me something about
Had any interesting experiences of late?
Specific:
Job:
Describe
Associates
Bosses
Satisfaction
Stresses
Best part
Worst part
Travel:
Transportation
Glitches
Food
Culture
Best part
Worst part
Learn anything worth while?
Family:
Back off with any hint that some are not doing well
Parents
Children
Hobbies:
Describe
Entertainment:
What books are you reading?
Any DVDs you have especially liked?

Readers:
Your assignment, if you are willing to risk it, applies the principles to at least three conversations and report results to:
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