How important is it to know how to start a conversation? Do a web search on the topic, ask friends or colleagues, and you will find out that most people have little idea how to do it, and are in fact petrified by the idea, mainly because they don’t want to face the kind of social rejection that is a possibility when trying to start a conversation. Nonetheless, we are dealing with essential communication skills, ones that have the potential to make the difference in your life, both socially and professionally.
Here are few tips to start a conversation :
Ask questions that get the other person talking
- People like to talk about themselves. Frame a question with the right mix of curiosity about the person and their work.
- Asking open ended questions that shows an interest in another person’s point of view and gives them a chance to speak about themselves or their experience is a great way to start a conversation.
Do more listening and less talking
- Great conversation require the right balance between talking and listening.
- Start the conversation by asking the right questions, but the listen intently to the other person.
- Hijacking the conversation by speaking too much or shifting the focus of the discussion and making it about us can instantly kill the conversation.
Don’t engage with a victim mindset
- Don’t start a conversation by putting someone or something in a bad light. It may be tempting to talk to others about things that you dislike, but approaching the conversation with the victim mindset is the worst way to connect with someone.
- It makes you look like a complainer and doesn’t give an opportunity to the other person to speak much.
Look for positive things to talk about which adds personal value to you and the other person.