Smart Conversation Strategies

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Smart conversations are effective in getting the message expressed and understood. There are some smart and simple ways we can easily improve the way we communicate with others.

Following are some guidelines for improving your communication:

Timing

If the person you are trying to talk with is busy, distracted, or preoccupied, much of the intended message will fall on deaf ears. Be certain that you have the attention of the person you are communicating with and that they are willing and able to communicate in return.

Aim Your Conversation Towards a Goal – "When you aim at nothing you will hit it every time!" If you know ahead of time what you want to discuss, or you have a general agenda you won't come across as rambling. Stick to the question or topic at hand and resist straying into related subjects without completing the topic at hand.

Say What You Really Want – Try not to make your partner guess at what your motivations and intentions are. Express how you feel, what you want, and what you need as clearly as possible and provide opportunity for the other person to ask questions for clarification. Practice

Active Listening – Active listening involves maintaining eye contact, positive and open posture, and being relaxed while you are communicating.

Clarify

Clarifying by asking questions shows that you have been listening. It is wise to never trust your assumptions about what you think you heard.

Express Areas That You Are Willing To Negotiate – Negotiation does not have to mean that you’re giving in but that you are willing to trade off or compromise. Bargaining or negotiating in this way can be enjoyable. Try not to agree to something that will cause later resentment.

Talk With People, Not At Them – Having an attitude of equality will help you to share the responsibility for what is being discussed while also maintaining a positive flow of conversation.

Be Sincere and Caring – Being sincere in giving praise will win respect. Try to remember that, "No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Criticize Constructively – Using "I" statements will help to separate the behaviour in question from the person and focuses on your feelings about the situation.

The foundation for healthy relationships is the ability to communicate and inter-relate. We can have better relationships and more fulfilled lives when we understand the meanings behind conversations. These meanings are not always obvious. Sometimes, it is useful to have a counsellor to improve communications. A professional counsellor can help to fine-tune your communication and open doors to happier, more fulfilled and intimate relationships.

Effective Communication

  • Use "I" Statements
  • No “Zapping”
  • Stay in the Present and the Future
  • Stick to the Topic at Hand
  • Never Assume
  • Do Not Interrupt
  • Acknowledge Other's Point of View
  • Offer an Apology if Appropriate
  • Ask Clarifying Questions