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Here’s an interesting fact: a majority of people aren’t listening to each other.
Crazy right? Currently, there are millions of people on this planet that don’t know how to have a proper conversation. How do I define a conversation? A conversation is a communication tool between human beings that balances active speaking and active listening. That’s it.
You may be thinking, who is this guy trying to tell me I don’t know how to talk to other people?! I’ve talked to hundreds and hundreds of people and noticed that sometimes things I say go into one ear and out the other. And I wondered why.
So to better understand why, I learned from one of the masters of communication, Celeste Headlee, one of the best radio talk show hosts and was the Midwest Correspondent for NPR’s Day to Day.
In Celeste Headlee’s TED Talk called 10 ways to have a better conversation, she talks about a high school teacher named Paul Barnwell who assigned his students, who all owned phones, a conversational project. After the project, he said,
“I came to realize that conversational competence may be the single most overlooked skill we fail to teach. Kids spend hours engaging with ideas and each other through screens, but rarely do they have the opportunity to hone their interpersonal communication skills.”
Many of you know this. Talking to others can be good. You know networking with other people gives you a greater chance of landing a job. You know having people you can talk to makes your life so much more enjoyable. But rarely do any of us learn how to effectively communicate with one another.
So how do you become a better conversationalist? Here are the 10 ways to have a better conversation, based on Celeste’s TED Talk.
So go out there, talk to people, and listen to what they have to say. Or, be an interesting person yourself! Take up new interests and hobbies, learn new skills like social media marketing or how to cook a mean cheesecake! What do you guys think? Leave a comment and tell me if this works for you!