Being a good conversationalist isn't just essential at work; it's an important social skill you have to develop too. And if you've ever experienced being in a one-sided conversation (that is, the other party just keeps talking while you nod your head mutely), you already know that too much talking doesn't yield a lot of good results.
In an article entitled "Don't Let These 4 Habits Ruin Your Conversations" on Lifehack.org, author Geoff Peart says being a conversation narcissist, otherwise known as talking only about yourself, is one quick way to make a conversation die.
"The only reason [conversation narcissists] ask the other person a question like, 'How was your weekend?' is so they can circle it back around to them again: 'That’s nice. Let me tell you about what happened to me.' They rarely inquire seriously about the other person or ask follow up questions," he says in the article.
If you keep the focus on yourself, the person you're talking to will only lose interest in what you have to say, and in the end, neither of you will gain anything from your conversation. To get rid of this bad habit, Peart suggests, "[be] genuinely interested in the other person." This means that, when you ask someone about what's going on their life, you should actually be ready to listen to them. Take note of what he says, and ask questions. Give and take is what makes for an effective conversation, and if you want build your social network and possibly foster good friendships, you have to make sure your conversation partner knows you're interested in what they have to say too.
[Click here to read "Don't Let These 4 Habits Ruin Your Conversations" on Lifehack.org]
Need some more self-improvement articles to help you at work? Check these out on FN:
- 5 Tips for Confident Public Speaking
- The Art of Marketing Yourself: How to Impress a Client or Employer
- Attractive People Earn More + Present Yourself Well at Work
You can also check out this article for more communication tips:
(Photo by lanuiop via Flickr Creative Commons)