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Master the Art of Conversation (Part 2 of 4) How to Ask Good Questions in Conversations

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5 Nov Ask again. They do know, they just have to think about a bit more. And as they start to open up the conversation becomes more interesting because it's not on auto-pilot anymore. Asking too many questions. If you ask too many questions the conversation can feel like a bit of an interrogation. Or like you don't. There are loads of staple questions you always find yourself asking people when trying to engage in conversation, generally about their backgrounds and their tastes. The key is to use these answers to decipher what actually interests them and what they would probably like to talk about. Once you have. Keep your questions non-invasive. Be sure you're not asking them questions about topics they'd rather not discuss. For example, some people might be very uncomfortable discussing issues that they feel touch on them personally, such as weight, lack of having a degree or qualifications, lack of having a steady date, etc.

You can only talk about the weather for so long. When you first meet someone at a conference or a holiday party, you might seem a little strange if you launch right into, "What's your favorite childhood memory? That said, you don't want to get stuck talking about the fact that it's raining hard forever. At some point, you'll want to hear a person's real story — why they chose to go into their current line of work or what they love about being a dad.

To help you have more meaningful conversations, we checked out some relevant Quora threads along with other advice. Don't expect substantive topics to instantly spring to mind. Instead, says Tracy Choua software engineer at Pinterest, you should approach any interaction with a few deep conversation starters ready to go.

Chou suggests reading some books on behavioral economics and pop psychology and talking about them, "since those subjects are fundamentally about people — and everyone is a person, has to interact with other people, and has opinions about their own behavior and other people's behavior.

She also recommends watching a few TED Talks — "another great source of cool ideas about the world. Multiple Quora users indicated that one of the best ways to start an interesting conversation is to find something the other person is excited about. Show that you want to more info more about the topic by asking a series of questions about it.

For example, Esteves says, "if they like celebrity news, ask them if they think that the 'celebrity culture' is making people less happy with their lives. Whatever you say, writes Joshua Evans"avoid the awful opening phrase, 'What do you do?

How To Have A Conversation Without Asking Questions

Instead, Evans click you should ask, "What makes you a badass? That will induce a chuckle over drinks. You might even find out something crazy; perhaps they are a lawyer by day and a rock musician by night. Weather is like "the black hole of shallow conversation.

It's like the black hole of shallow conversation," says Ambra Benjaminan engineering recruiter at Facebook.

Asking Questions And Making Statements - The Building Blocks Of Conversation

In other words, assume the other person is just as eager to have meaningful conversations as you are. If you approach every conversation as an opportunity to convert people to your values and beliefs, you'll probably have a hard time getting anyone to stick around. After all, no one likes to feel like they're being proselytized.

How To Have A Conversation Without Asking Questions

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.

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For example, you can mention how you discovered a new favorite musical artist this week — not that you're having a clandestine affair with your coworker. Talk about something specific you accomplished — like knitting a sweater. When someone asks you what you do for a living, don't simply say you're a writer or a doctor.

According to Lifehackeryou 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.

But in social settings, overthinking used to make me get stuck in my own head and blank out in conversations. Karma would be the amount of investment you two have for a subject. Deflect it if you'd rather not be the center of conversation attention. You don't have to exactly memorize it, but you should have some broad topics, something with some emotional content that anyone can relate to

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, it might be time to adopt a new mindset and think 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 here you take it one step further.

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.

Viktor has been working with SocialPro since For example, some people might be very uncomfortable discussing issues that they feel touch on them personally, such as weight, lack of having a degree or qualifications, lack of having a steady date, etc. Latest Articles Latest Articles Feed. Did this article help you?

One of those tips — applicable to journalists and everyone else — is "go with the flow. In other words, it's okay 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. Read on to find out what you should and shouldn't say to spark substantive dialogue.

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Have some 'deep' conversation starters on hand Don't expect substantive topics to instantly spring to mind. Ask questions about topics the other person is interested in Multiple Quora users indicated that one of the best ways to start an interesting conversation is to find something the other person is excited about. Find out what makes the other person special Whatever you say, writes Joshua Evans"avoid the awful opening phrase, 'What do you do?

Avoid discussing the weather So it's three degrees colder than average for December.

Assume the other person has deep thoughts "If you assume that there is any possibility that the other person might be dull or will talk stupid, maybe you won't ask things that draw them out in the right way and YOU will ruin the discussion by making it dull," writes Tobias C.

Don't push people to see your perspective If you approach every conversation as an opportunity to convert people to your values and beliefs, you'll probably have a hard time getting anyone to stick around. Reveal something slightly personal "Reveal something about yourself, and discuss how it felt and what you learned from it," writes Jan Leadbetter. Talk about something specific you're working on When someone asks you what you do for a living, don't simply say you're a writer or a doctor.

Ask for stories, not answers It can be tempting to try breaking the ice with an innocuous question like, "How was your weekend? Be less selfish If you're consumed with panic about how you're coming off, it might be time to adopt a new mindset and think about how your conversation partner is feeling instead. Writes Pham Tien Hiep: Come up with 'conversational sparks' It's fine to browse the news for potential conversation topics — as long as you take it one step further.

Don't stick to a script Public radio correspondent Celeste Headlee gave a TEDx Talk in which she distilled everything she's learned from How To Have A Conversation Without Asking Questions sources into tips for having more productive conversations.