Anda di halaman 1dari 37

The Art of Conversation

Desire only to please the people with whom


you are talking and you will infallibly do so.
What is Conversation?
• Conversation is a social activity

• A sophisticated activity that we often take for granted


• Two or more people talking and listening
• It can be done via the spoken word or via sign or
symbol
• It requires us to think about feelings, thoughts,
needs, moods, words, symbols, culture, gender,
experiences and a host of other factors relating to the
persons we are talking or listening to – It is a reciprocal
process
Small Talk
• Conversation is a social activity

• A sophisticated activity that we often take for granted


• Two or more people talking and listening
• It can be done via the spoken word or via sign or
symbol
• It requires us to think about feelings, thoughts,
needs, moods, words, symbols, culture, gender,
experiences and a host of other factors relating to the
persons we are talking or listening to – It is a reciprocal
process
Big Techniques for Small Talk

The chitchat that comes before more important discussions

Small talk has potentially enormous consequences:

• Talk too much = nervous or insensitive


• Ignore people = snobbish
• Discuss only work = LIMITED

Every encounter offers an opportunity, a


chance to sell the organization
Small Talk
Conversation is an art

It requires 3 ingredients:

• Attending skills

• Listening manners

• Your conversational contribution


Attending Skills
SOFTEN: The key to Gaining And Giving Attention

S mile
O pen posture
F orward lean
T one
E ye Communication
N od
Listening Skills
• Ready, Set, Listen
• Create a setting
• Tune out distractions
• Be aware of your non-verbal signals
Four Important Benefits of Listening:

•To better understand people and problems


•To learn more
•To improve relationships and the work itself
•To reduce tension
Purpose

Plan

Prepare

Practice

Conversational
Present (Converse)
Contribution
Why Conversation?
As humans we need to engage in conversation at
workplace, home, social gatherings, and so on..

‘We Can Never NOT Communicate’


The Art of Conversation in Brief
1. Don't talk too long without pausing for a
reaction. More than a minute is usually too
long. Forty seconds is ideal.
2. Never contradict or flatly disagree with the
other person. It's an implied insult.
3. Don't be too forceful or emphatic in stating
your opinions until you learn the other
person's attitude.
4.  Give the other person intellectual freedom
and cooperation and claim them for yourself
Conversation Model - Elements
Assess the Engage in
situation
conversation
and our role

Question
and
foster
understandin
g

Develop a response – Discern whether


plan and make change modification needed and
commit to change
Conversation
Characteristics of Conversation
Conversation
• Social activity
• People
• Immediate response
• Some commitments
• Interpretation and some filling in the gaps
• Etiquette and rules
• Room for space
• Being with
• Being open
• Going with the flow
• Moving with different forms of conversation
Ideal Conversationalist(1)
The ideal conversationalist is:

1. Well-informed
2. Sympathetic
3. Interested in life
4. Has a sense of the dramatic
5. Moderate
6. Can draw out the other person
7. Attentive
8. Always in good humor
9. Has a sense of proportion
10.Doesn't preach
Ideal Conversationalist(2)
11. Doesn't take himself too seriously
12. Not argumentative
13. Original
14. Broad-minded
15. Charitable
16. Unselfish
17. Considerate
18. Flexible
19. Poised
20. Enthusiastic
21. A trifle whimsical

If you find the world dull, the chances are that


your companions will find you dull.
10 Most Common Business Etiquette /
Conversation Blunders
1. Inappropriate Language
2. Disregard of other’s time
3. Inappropriate dress and poor grooming
4. Misuse of the telephone / Chat room
5. Failure to greet someone properly
6. Poor listening skills
7. Disregard of shared property and other’s
space
8. Embarrassing others
9. Poor table manners
10.Inappropriate or inconsistent recognition
of others
Businesses are run by and for people.  To be successful
in business, you must be successful working with and
for people.
Introductions
If someone hasn’t been introduced, he or she is,
socially, invisible:

•A person who makes the introductions appears well-


mannered and considerate
•When responding to an introduction
• Stand up
• Move to the person, establish eye contact, look
pleasant or smile
• Shake hands
• Greet the other person and repeat his or her name
• When the conversation ends, say goodbye
Communication as Conversation
Most conversations sort of drift along; in business,
this is wasteful; as a manager, you seek
communication rather than chatter.
To ensure an efficient and effective conversation,
there are three considerations:

1. you must make your message understood

2. you must receive/understand the intended


message sent to you

3. you should exert some control over the flow of


the communication
We must learn to listen as well as to speak
Conversation at Workplace (1)

• To propose and then prove it conclusively is fatal


to
conversation

• To insist on always being right subjects listeners


to the emotion of self-abasement

• Conversation is neither a:

• Lecture
• Sermon
• Debate
Conversation at Workplace (2)
If you have nothing to say on the topic under
discussion, say nothing. According to Voltaire,
`One always sounds foolish when one has
nothing to say.'
Attempting to steer the conversation round to your
pet subjects will engender resentment in your
listeners.
Sometimes when you find yourself with nothing to
contribute to a general conversation you may
feel uncomfortable and inadequate. The impulse
to get rid of the feeling by saying something is
best resisted.
To stay on topic is not enough. One must stay in
tune with the conversation. Otherwise one's
remarks will grate on the rest of the company.
AMBIGUITY AVOIDANCE

• Bepragmatic rather than philosophical. Remember words


do not mean what you intend
• Whatever your instructions, look for possible
misunderstanding and clarify ambiguity by asking the listener
questions
• If you are instructed to undertake a project, make notes,
paraphrase each item to confirm understanding.
• Write back to all concerned for consistency and validity
check
DIALOGUE
• In dialogue conversation you should usually not be
brilliant or scintillating
• About half of your time should be spent listening
unless it is clear that the other person wishes you to
talk more
• The advantages of listening are:

• you conceal your own weakness.


• You learn the other person's attitude.
• You give the other person enjoyment.
• You store up emphasis for the statement you
eventually
make.

In times of trouble a sympathetic ear is


more valuable to most people than
Engaging Conversation
The engaging conversation is an art form –
an ability that can be cultivated by
practice
For conversation to be successful:

• You must demonstrate Interest in the


subject
• You must show interest in the person

The interest in the person is by far the surer


ingredient for success
Engaging Conversation
• To chatter is easy
• To deliver monologue is not a conversation
• To keep silent is an important part in effective
conversation
• To talk meaningfully with the hostile, the
suspicious, the indifferent or even with a friendly
person is an art

To really become a good conversationalist:

• Conscientiously stock your mind with facts and


information
• Form opinions on the basis of that knowledge
Engaging Conversation
Masters of the art of conversation rarely give
advice except when so requested

The secret of giving advice:

• To mix it up with something that implies a


real consciousness of the adviser's own
shortcomings

• To acknowledge other party's merits as


much as possible.

• To plant a suggestion in a subtle and


skillful manner
One to One Conversation(1)

• Conversation is easier than group


conversation
• Provides greater latitude for making
mistakes

• Has two subconscious aims:

• To get to know the other person


• To reveal yourself

(Generally these aims should not be targeted


directly)
One to One Conversation(2)
Attitudes to cultivate in dialogue:

• Interest in the person


• Interest in the subject
• Friendliness
• Sincerity
• Candor
• Helpfulness

“People who are uncomfortable in themselves are


disagreeable to others”.
William Hazlitt
One to One Conversation(3)
• People like those who:
• Like them
• Appreciate them
• Admire them
• Like the same things as they do
• Are the same kind of people they are
(usually)
• not
If you do Arefit helpful
into one or more of these categories, DO
NOT attempt to be friends

According to a study the average person is interested in


job, home, politics, recreation, health, current events in
that order
One to One Conversation(4)
• In dialogue conversation you should
usually
not be brilliant or scintillating.

• About half of your time should be spent


listening unless it is clear that the other
person wishes you to talk more

The advantages of listening are:


• You conceal your own weakness.
• You learn the other person's attitude.
• You give the other person enjoyment.
• You store up emphasis for the statement you
In times of trouble eventually
a sympathetic
make. ear is more valuable
to most people than anything that can be said to
them
One to One Conversation(5)
• Conversation should generally attempt
to
remove barriers
• Some barriers that cannot be removed
and
no attempt should be made to do so
Such barriers are:

Age
Sex
Experience
Superiority
It is easier to talk with an inferior than
Inferiority
with a superior, but it is not easier to
talk well.
General Conversation
The main purpose of general conversation is to exchange views

General conversation should conform to the following


principles:
The topic must be of general interest.
• Each person must do his share AND NO MORE.
• There should be no periods of silence.
• No topic should be dragged out.
• The tone should be kept good-natured
• No one should be offended by anything said
Types of Conversation & The
Role of Instinct(1)
Conversation is of two basic types:
• Conversation for its own sake
• Conversation for some other purpose
Politicians, preachers, salesmen, lobbyists, etc.
practice the latter.
Conversation for its own sake has two distinct aims:
• Companionship
• The exchange of ideas
Types of Conversation & The
Role of Instinct(2)
Four instincts may always be appealed to in
conversation:
• Attraction
• Self-assertion
• Pugnacity
• Curiosity

Three instincts may sometimes be appealed to:


• Gender attraction
• Art
• Acquisition
The gender attraction, artistic and acquisitive instincts may be appealed to
with some people, but not with others. Moreover, more discretion is required
in tapping these instincts if they are to produce good conversation.
Types of Conversation & The
Role of Instinct(3)
• A mutual dislike stimulates conversation. It is
easy to stimulate most people to talk if you can find
their pet peeve. Beware of doing this unless you
share their viewpoint

• Perhaps the strongest instinct is parental


affection. Talk to someone (especially a woman)
about their children and they are deeply interested

• The instincts which must always be avoided are:


• Repulsion
• Self-abasement
• Fear
PRACTICAL POINTS
• Effective conversation: you should decide (in advance)
on the purpose of the conversation and the plan for
achieving it

• Assertiveness
If someone argues against you, even loses their temper,
you
should be quietly assertive. The final message is a
three-fold
plan of action:

1. acknowledge what is being said by showing an understanding


of the position, or by simply replaying it (a polite way of saying
"I heard you already")
2. State your own point of view clearly and concisely with
perhaps a little supporting evidence
3. State what you want to happen next (move it forward)
PRACTICAL POINTS
• Confrontations

• Be professional
• Do not lose your self-control.
• Some managers believe
it is useful for "discipline" to keep staff a little nervous.

• Insults are ineffective


Staff may listen but the main problem is not addressed
“On the Journey to Learn,
all we do is to discover our
ignorance progressively”
Adapted from Will Durant

Questions?