The Art of Good Conversation

Talking to friends, colleagues and even strangers forms a large part of everyday life. But why do some people enjoy the art of conversation while others see it as something to avoid and endure.

It’s good to talk

We build relationships with people we already know and people we have never met before by talking to them. In everyday life we communicate with those around us by chatting to them and others influence us when they speak. Having simple conversations is something we do regularly and is a key factor in forging and foregoing relationships throughout our lives. Talking to people is, at times, frustrating but it helps to find solutions to the most worrisome of troubles. The secret of good conversation lies in making sure there is a healthy two-way dialogue, rather than an exchange where one person dominates.

Life is more fun when we talk to those around us and are able to chat easily when meeting new people in new settings. Developing a willingness to listen is essential to understanding what the other person thinks and helps avoid the likelihood of confusion or conflict. Speaking to others is an innate human drive that leads to interesting friendships and exciting connections. A good conversation is an enjoyable sharing of ideas that leaves everyone enriched although sometimes they are treated as an opportunity to prove the other person wrong.

The need to listen

Taking time to appreciate what the other person thinks and how they feel increases the chances of relating with them in a meaningful way. Everyone is, of course, different so what makes sense to one person may not resonate with another. Even though we assume what we think reflects what others think, we are often surprised when they see things differently. Similarly, we suppose others know what we think and how we feel without realising they may not unless we explain it in a way that is clear. Recognising that everyone has their own unique way of seeing the world helps us have more conversations with a greater collection of people.

How we talk to people has a tremendous effect too, as it communicates a sense of friendliness or reserve, which in turn triggers an agreeable or aggressive response. The tone of voice and the words we use are powerful as they determine whether we nurture friends or foes each time we speak. Regular chats with family and friends also serve to help or hinder our on-going affairs. From the beginning of any conversation the other person will feel a sense of warmth or reserve depending on what we say and how we say it. And so it is important to remember the effect of our words, as they decide the success or failure of any encounter.

So, its good to talk but what we say and how we say it plays a central role in building relationships with those close to us and those we have yet to meet.