Having a happy life includes many factors such as achievements in personal and professional aspects, being proud of our own appearance and personal traits, and having remarkable social interactions with friends, workmates, classmates, familiars and love partners. For this last factor, it’s very important to have in mind that social interactions are based on two-way communication and reciprocity. Therefore, the better you are with conversation skills, the better tend to be your social interactions and the potential of having a happy life.
We have captured the eight great tips from Jeff Callahan and put below in a summarised way:
Being Approachable: Starting a conversation with empathetic questions such as ‘How are you?’, ‘Are you OK?’, ‘Are you concerned?’ or anything that demonstrates your ability to notice that the person might need someone to talk and support.
Eye Contact: It’s important to remember that not all cultures focus on keeping eye contact as a respectful manner between hierarchical positions, or between men and women, or even with someone with autistic traits. However, in cultures where it’s accepted, make sure you show with your eyes that you are connected to the person in the conversation.
The Iceberg Effect: Everyone has a limited number of topics that is really of their interest and knowledge. However, knowing a little about a lot will help establish an interesting conversation with anybody. The more content you consume (TV, radio, books, internet articles etc.), the higher the chances of being an interesting person to have a conversation.
Enthusiasm is Contagious: Many people tend to adapt their ‘energy level’ to the person who’s conducting the conversation. If the leading talker is flat-toned, low-energy, everyone talking to this person will tend to assume the same profile, which might make these people bored. When you show high levels of energy and enthusiasm, people tend to turn to the same manner, making them think how you energised them and how great it was during the conversation.
Orbit The Difficult Topic: Sometimes, the topic at the conversation is not within your real knowledge. However, you can orbit that topic with related topics, things that you can talk about and don’t allow you feel and look lost at the conversation. For example, people are talking about modern urban Architecture, but you’re not an architect. However, you can talk about the feeling specific building generate to you, you can ask about the other people’s original interest in knowing more about Architecture, you can mention some news or historical people related to Architecture. When you use the correct bit of related topic, you can not only be considered inside the conversation, but you could even lead the conversation through your perspectives.
Interrupting and Returning The Ball: Sometimes, a person says something that you might feel the need to add some comment, either expanding or contrasting what is being said. Try not to ‘break the flow’ of another person, but if you do, you can always return the conversation lead to that person by saying ‘Sorry, you were saying XYZ’, or something similar. Therefore, you add your comment and demonstrate respect for the person you had to interrupt.
Celebrate Shared Things: Sometimes, you will say something that will perfectly fit into someone else’s life. The same favourite movie, a shared hobby, a similar past experience... When you notice that spark in the eyes of a person meaning ‘Me too!’, ‘Same as me!’ etc., pull that person to the conversation to share some words. That person will feel highly regarded and will be excited to talk about something they like and know.
Daily Practice: Never forget, good conversations might happen anytime with anyone, so be prepared for them every day! You can consider every small talk as an opportunity to strengthen bonds, make new contacts and becoming memorable in someone’s day.
Jeff Callahan made a video commenting on these eight tips, you may watch below: