Most people want to enjoy positive discussions and conversations with others.
It can be disheartening when you want to talk about something that matters, only to have your attempts derailed and turned into filler gab.
At the end of the day, only a few actually like filling their time with nothing but empty chatter. The problem, of course, is this: how can you ensure deeper verbal connections with others? Here are 5 ways to keep your discussions meaningful and engaging.
. DON’T ASSUME PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO TALK
Some of the quickest killers of meaningful discussion are assumptions, and the “deadliest” of them all is that the people you’re talking to don’t actually want to be there. It’s not uncommon for people to think that no one wants to speak or contribute to them, forcing them to stay quiet instead. This is a form of pluralistic ignorance.
A lot of times, it’s not that people don’t want to talk. It’s that people think no one else does! While this won’t be true for everyone, more often than not, taking the first step to initiate the conversation or discussion will show others that it’s safe for them to talk to you, too. You can’t have any meaningful discussion if you think no one wants to have it with you.
. MAKE THINGS OPEN-ENDED
Anything you say that would typically result in the other person responding “yes,” “no,” or “maybe” is a surefire way to stall a discussion awkwardly. The whole point of a discussion is to share thoughts and ideas, after all – and how do you get that from a yes/no answer?
The key is to make sure you’re maintaining open-ended discussion by avoiding these yes/no conversation traps. Whatever you say should be able to be built on. Here are some tips for maintaining open-ended discussion:
· ASK FOR STORIES
Ask someone to tell you about their experiences or life. It gives them a chance to talk about themselves, granting you new insight into their world and the person they are. This also opens the door for further discussions into specific areas and allows you to reconsider more in-depth topics later.
· REFRAME STAGNANT QUESTIONS INTO OPEN ONES
Sometimes, reframing normal yes/no questions or empty standard questions can lead to a surprising difference. For example, instead of asking, “How was your weekend?” you can ask, “What did you do this weekend?” or “What was your favorite part of your weekend?”. This opens the door for a more interesting result.
· REQUEST ADVICE
Sometimes, the best way for a discussion to be meaningful is for you to very directly show not just your humble side but also that you truly want someone’s input. Make it clear that you want to hear their perspectives, ideas, and how their experiences would better inform your situation.
At the end of the day you seek to understand and be understood while in a conversation with anyone so give windows for expression with your conversation starters.
Until next time, its all love from here ❤️