“How to be a great conversationalist … Your job is often to be a good listener” Daniel Post Senning

“How to be a great conversationalist … Your job is often to be a good listener. If you’re talking to 1 other person, your share of the conversation pie is about 50%. You get to talk about half the time. You’re getting to listen about 1/2 the time also

“As soon as there’s 3 people, your share of that pie as a talker gets smaller. It drops to about a 1/3. You’re listening twice as much as talking. You’re 2/3 and talking a 1/3 if you’re lucky.

“With 4 people, you’re listening 3 times as much as you’re talking. It’s amazing how important listening skills are as part of a conversation.

“There’s a little checklist that I give people for checking in on your own active listening. Are you physically engaged? Are you looking someone in the eye? Are you smiling? Are you relaxed and attentive, present with other people you are with? Are you showing that in the way that you hold yourself?”

“That’s the someone I’d want to be around. That’s the kind of person you can feel comfortable with.”

“A little sparkle in your eye. Are you ready to smile if not grinning? Animated, moves a little when they talk, present in their body. Little nonverbal cues, nods, letting people know you’re listening. Repeat back what you heard. Mirroring and little ways you reflect.”

“The final act is to contribute something yourself and ask a follow up a question. That’s the fourth step. My advice: Notice when you arriving at that step and don’t do it. Hold yourself accountable. Don’t say that first thing. Don’t ask that first question? Don’t contribute that thing that you were going to interject. You get to contribute and it’s self-control.”

“Share a thought this conversation has inspired. And then bring the conversation back to what the other person is saying. Ask their perspective. Allow the person who initiated the conversation to be in the driver’s seat.”

“The simple mistake is me-too-ism. Let me tell you my version of that story. Common conversation mistake.”

“I cannot stand those conversations where it’s two people saying a thing in their own life. We’re not really talking about each other. We’re just sharing.”

“Maybe the ball has been passed to you. You find your moment to contribute.”

Source: Awesome Etiquette – Episode #215: Who’s Invited? | Listen via Stitcher Radio On Demand

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I'm a graphic designer (portfolio), classical pianist and artist in Baltimore, MD. I host the Uncanny Creativity Podcast helping to demystify the creative process and creator of Funlooksfun.com, an online shop for apparel and games. Twitter: @sketchee

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