If you had the opportunity to meet one person you haven't met who would it be, why and what would you talk about?
What's the most important thing I should know about you? What do you value more, intelligence or common sense? What movie is your favorite guilty pleasure, and why? You are stuck on a deserted island, and you can only take three things.
What would they be? When and where were you happiest in your life? What do you think is the driving force in your life? Like this column? Instead, be open to hearing about your partner's ideas and at least trying to understand her perspective.
They don't have to be massive secrets or anything like that, just something personal. Leadbetter's theory is supported by science: Psychologists say that when you disclose something about yourself, other people feel inclined to do the same. Just be careful not to get too personal. For example, you can mention how you discovered a new favorite musical artist this week — not that you're having a clandestine affair.
When someone asks you what you do for a living, don't simply say you're a writer or a doctor. According to Lifehacker , you can liven up the conversation by adding a few details about something you accomplished that week. Similarly, when you're asked what you do for fun, talk about a recent experience you had doing your hobby, whether that's knitting wool scarves or jogging in the park.
It can be tempting to try breaking the ice with an innocuous question like, "How was your weekend? That way, your conversation partner can tell a story that allows you to learn more about him and what makes him tick.
If you're consumed with panic about how you're coming off, consider changing your mindset and thinking about how your conversation partner is feeling instead. Writes Pham Tien Hiep :. Once we're available for other people, we're more available for ourselves and don't have to think of what to say. It's fine to browse the news for potential conversation topics — as long as you take it one step further.
Jeff Callahan suggests : "For each current topic, create one 'Conversational Spark' to add at the end of your blurb. Would you rather A or B? Public radio correspondent Celeste Headlee gave a TEDx Talk in which she distilled everything she's learned from interviewing sources into tips for having more productive conversations. One of those tips — applicable to journalists and everyone else — is "go with the flow. In other words, it's OK if your conversation doesn't go exactly according to plan, as long as it's interesting.
That means the host probably stopped listening two minutes ago because he thought of this really clever question, and he was just bound and determined to say that. Stories and ideas are going to come to you. You need to let them come and let them go.
If you could do anything you wanted tonight anywhere, for any amount of money , what would you do and why? Such questions can be tricky because you may dig up a bad memory of an abandoned dream, but they can also be a chance to find out some good news and build some connection. Forget about commenting about the weather and stuff like that. Conversation Starters for Old Friends In such contexts, there are always good conversation starters you can rely on to get the conversation going. Follow me on Twitter or Read more.
Diana Booher, author of "Communicate Like a Leader," writes on HuffPost about using an otherwise dull comment as a launching point for an interesting conversation. For example, if the other person says, "I just got back from vacation. I dread looking at my inbox tomorrow," you might respond with, "For someone like you who travels so much with your job, what do you want in a vacation?
Starting the conversation off on a positive note is crucial to keep the conversation going. Small talk is what leads the way to deeper conversation , much in the way that a car must gradually accelerate to a certain speed rather than hitting 60 miles an hour instantaneously. These are all shared experiences that anyone can relate to, so they can work for any individual.
If you want to move from small talk to real conversation, you have to look for any opportunity that leads you to change the subject. Questions are conversational lubricant. Pay attention as much as you can to the conversation and use them to move it forward. Keep potential questions in the back of your mind. Try to be as specific and inquisitive as possible. Your level of friendliness can make or break the receptiveness of the other party involved. Walk into the conversation with a big smile and open body language, and keep yourself open, receptive and smiling politely for as much of the conversation as you can.
Try not to cross your arms, appear distracted or let your eyes wander. This is another major point.
If you go into a conversation and immediately begin dominating it with your own anecdotes, comments and explanations, the other person may immediately become disinterested.