How To Become A Better Conversationalist

If you want to be an effective businessperson, you must learn to speak well. You must approach each conversation as an opportunity to advance your goals or bring some benefit to someone.

Consider this: Every conversation you will have this week will give you a chance to:

* learn something useful

* establish or deepen a personal relationship

* move closer to a goal

* help someone else

To make all your future conversations more valuable, you should recognize this and then take a moment at the start of each conversation to ask yourself “What do I want from this?” A moment of reflection will make your conversation more purposeful. You will have more energy for it, because you will anticipate some benefit.

Speak like this and you will find people more responsive to your suggestions. An added bonus: You’ll enjoy the conversation more.

Other tips on keeping a conversation positive:

* Keep the other person’s interest in mind. When discussing your agenda, phrase your suggestions in light of how they would benefit the other person.

* Make it a habit to say something positive after the other person has said something. It could be something like “Good point” or “That’s good.”

An initially positive remark will make the rest of the conversation go easily.

* Ignore negative comments when they are made to provoke you. Pause for a moment, say nothing, and continue.

* Begin each conversation by saying something complimentary, even if it is a very small thing.

* End each conversation with a brief summary of what you have learned or decided and what is to be done.

[Ed. Note.  Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]