Meat and Retreat

by Frank

Steak on Grill

Photo by Matt Moser

This has been truely an exciting series for me. I have learned so much from the research I have done on communication that I am confident that my interactions during conversations have changed in the positive for good. These tips are timeless and will benefit you for years to come. Well today I will try to condense a few areas in to one in order to provide you with enough insight to complete a full conversation.

We know how to start. We know what questions to ask. We know how to build rapport. We know how to be others focused. So, what is next you ask?

STEAK (Meat)

This is the body or core of the conversation. The best way to be a great conversationalist is to be sensitive to the flow of the conversation. We have already indentified exactly how to do so. You do it by asking great opened ended question that will require some thought to answer. Then you actively listen to their response for clarity and greater understanding. Now you will learn how to respond.

Conversations, unless you are me, usually consist of two parties. An open dialoge will require insightful and interesting responses from both people in order to keep it going. In the midst of your conversation you have to make sure that it does not feel like and interview or interrogation.

Do you like kids?

How many cats do you have?

What is your favorite color?

Can’t you see me with my note pad taking notes. Avoid becoming an investigator.

Here’s how.

  • Avoid one word answers

Even if the person asks you a closed ended question like, Did you like your food? Which can be answered yes or no, add some additional details.

Ex: No, I did not like my burger it tasted like it was made on a grill from the stone age. Why would they serve that to me?

  • Share your stories

If you are asked an open ended question answer it with a short story of your experience. It adds a personal touch to your conversation and makes you  build a solid connection. Please try to keep them short.

  • Be Human

Do not be afraid to show emotion. If there was something that made you mad don’t try to cover it up with a fake smile. If you don’t know what the heck someone is talking about stop them and say I don’t know what the heck you are talking about could you explain it to me. Hey, I even say be prepared to laugh at yourself. I believe with every ounce of my being that you are going to say something stupid. It is going to happen. Don’t be afraid of it.

THE CLOSE (Retreat)

When it is time to end a conversation you want to make sure that you put just as much effort to do it tactfully as you did to begin it. The last thing you want to do is create a new relationship just to watch it die as you walk away. When you end a conversation you want to do just that end the conversation not the relationship. So here are some quick tips on how to do it.

  1. Set a follow up appointment. “I have to run now but I don’t want to end this conversation. Can I give you a call sometime next week? How’s Monday?”
  2. Tell a joke. I hate to go but if I don’t I might end up with cotton mouth because you are just to fun to talk to. I’ll catch up with you later.
  3. Exchange social networking information. “I can’t beleive we have been talking for … minutes. I know this is tacky to ask but are you on (facebook, twitter, linked in, you tube?) 🙂

In the closing of a conversation you want to make sure that it ends on a positive note. Don’t just walk away. Make the other party feel like you would like to continue but you just can’t. Using all of the tips we have convered this week  you should be able to make a good conversation into a great conversation good luck.

Want more? Tell us what you think about this series in the comments below.

For further information about communication, click the link below.

Communication Techniques