6 Things To Avoid During Conversation

Generation Y and beyond have been called the ‘generation that doesn’t know how to communicate.’ Why? Probably because most of our conversation takes place over social media accounts and text messages. Face-to-face communication may not be as common as it once was, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is any less necessary!

However, learning to ask the right questions and how to become an active listener is a good start. Here are some of the things to watch out for:

1. Checking text messages or emails.

There is something especially irritating about someone whipping out their phone while you’re trying to speak to them. Put the device in a pocket or a purse and exercise the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ principle. Our eyes are glued to our cell phones most of the day anyway!

2. Interrupting.

In preschool, one of the first things the instructors teach is to ‘wait our turn’ for that one toy everyone wanted to play with. This is no different! Let the other person finish their breath before jumping in to take control of the conversation.

3. Avoiding eye contact.

Eye contact is one of the easiest ways to tell if someone is listening to you. Plus, staring at someone’s shoes or pants is one of the quickest way to make someone feel self-conscious about themselves.

4. Spinning whatever someone is saying into a story about ourselves.

They say that the sound of our name is the most beautiful sound to all of our ears. Talking about ourselves is probably the next best thing, right? What we need to remember is that ‘it isn’t always about me.’

5. Showing no expression at all.

Usually this is an indication of ‘zoning out’. The last thing we want is for someone to share some devastating or exciting information with us while we stare back cluelessly. So relax your face and engage.

6. Asking a question to which the answer has just been given.

How many times have we been introduced to someone only to walk away from them completely forgetting their name?

Invest in discussions and take the time to really listen to people. Learn to actively listen and you’ll find that others are much more interesting than they are at face value. Plus, every one loves a good listener!

– Jenni

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