Conversations play a vital role in our routines. The more we interact, the better we understand and that results in the proper functioning of self as well as society. So, without interactions or conversations, society does not function adequately. But do you know why it is significant to be a better conversationalist?
The constant exchange of views, opinions, and dialogues while observing and paying attention to someone is how one can take part in a conversation.
Emphasizing on the fact that just talking to each other won’t make a good conversation and two talkative people don’t become a better Conversationalists, let us focus on the real meaning of being a conversationalist.
Who is a Conversationalist?
A Conversationalist is one who possesses extremely good interactive conversational skills and is pretty great at breaking the ice.
If you look around, people are constantly on their smartphones and laptops rather than interacting with real people. Today’s generation is more engaging on social media than in actual life.
Also, when you hear people speak, you’ll observe that conversations turn out differently in real life than they do in a book, on a TV, or just in your thoughts. People mostly talk and barely listen to each other, interrupting each other’s thoughts.
They even skip paying attention to the ideas and thoughts of the other person. Most people just talk for the sake of talking, without respecting the intentions of the other person. Being a better conversationalist is not as easy as talking.
A Good Conversationalist always believes in the power of words that bring people together, connect hearts, and understand emotions.
Characteristics of a good conversationalist
To understand the characteristics of a conversationalist, let us begin with the elements of a conversation.
The Basic elements that make you a good conversationalist
- Asking questions
- Informing the other person
- Asserting your point
- Proposing ideas
- Summarizing what you have said.
The further elements everyone must keep a check upon
- Checking if the conversation is not moving off the track
- Building up your argument
- Include facts
- Exclude filters
- Arguments supporting your viewpoint
- Disagreeing in a professional way
- Avoiding irrelevant elements
- Challenging, attacking, or countering
- Defending your viewpoints
- Blocking obstacles
Well, by merely understanding the above-mentioned elements you can’t become a better conversationalist. You need to understand that a good Conversationalist is the one who uses the right elements at the right time of the conversation to make it more constructive & interesting.
If you wish to be a better conversationalist, you should always make sure to follow the key components of a constructive conversation which are as follow:
- Act Properly: Listening helps you understand the other person’s perspective and feelings. If you don’t listen to what the other person is saying you will not understand the depth of the conversation. So, you need to practice active listening. It becomes difficult if you are highly extrovert but you first need to listen to the other person and then present your opinion before them.
- Labeling Emotions: Emotions play an important role if you want to be a better conversationalist. Naming the emotions simply means that you’re validating and also acknowledging them. It also makes the other person feel that you are paying attention to what they are saying. So, start identifying and labeling an emotion.
- Being Empathetic: Empathy means understanding the mindset and feelings of another person and hearing the intentions behind those feelings. To become a good conversationalist, you need to show empathy while interacting with others as it builds a level of trust and connection with the other person. So, investing your time in practicing empathy can yield positive outcomes.
- Summarizing: It means describing the situation the way your counterpart sees it in your words. To summarize, you need to listen to the person very carefully and look for what they are trying to say underneath the words. If you summarize the main and supporting ideas in your head then the conversation becomes purposeful and effective.
- Brevity: Brevity is defined as using fewer words to create a deeper impact. To embrace brevity, you need to quit wasting words. Your listener needs quick and crisp knowledge. The more you waste words, the more your content loses its quality. Stick to the significant points so that the others can remember what you said. It makes any conversation meaningful and productive.
- Building Mutual Ground: Good and constructive conversations are held on mutual ground. A conversation is fruitful when you learn how to do a difficult conversation. It’s not easy to do a conversation on mutual grounds but it may be possible that the person you talk with has different opinions. In that case, you need to listen to the person and present your views in such a way that it won’t leave them frustrated and angry. That’s what makes you a good conversationalist.
- Being Genuine: For a constructive conversation, both parties should disclose their motive. Both parties need to be genuine which in turn leads to beneficial outcomes at both ends. An artificial interest in a conversation leads to disputable and doubtful results. Talk with a person in such a way that the conversation looks genuine and sincere.
Books which will help to be a Better Conversationalist
Here are some good reads for excelling in the art of Conversations and stand out as a great conversationalist.
- The Intelligent Conversationalist: by Imogen Lloyd Webber
- How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships by Leil Lowndes
- Conversationally Speaking: Tested New Ways to Increase Your Personal and Social Effectiveness by Alan Garner
- The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal magnetism By Olivia Fox Cabane
- Understanding Other People: The Five Secrets to Human Behavior by Beverly Flaxington
- People Skills: How to Assert Yourself, Listen to Others, And Resolve Conflicts by Robert Bolton
- Difficult Conversations: How To Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone
- The Fine Art of Small Talk by Debra Fine.
- Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age by Sherry Turkle
There are plenty of books out there that helps everyone in developing a great skill set and helps in becoming a great conversationalist. Keeping in mind that they will only point you in the right path and rest is up to you and the efforts you put.