The Art of Conversation (Day 361)

(Photo via VisualHunt)

“A good conversation is like a miniskirt; short enough to retain interest, but long enough to cover the subject.”   –– Celeste Headlee’s Sister

Watch THIS now. It’s short and sweet and extremely valuable.

It’s been awhile since I’ve encouraged people to watch a TED talk, but as soon as I watched “10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation,” I wanted to send it out to everybody I know, including those who are already good conversationalists. Aside from the charm and likeability of the speaker, Celeste Headlee, the talk is a reminder of the good stuff that can come out of any conversation and on point tips about how to create meaningful conversations in any situation.

Because I tend to be a watcher/listener rather than a talker (unless I’ve been drinking wine), I was interested in what Ms. Headlee’s title and promo promised. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say, or even that I am shy or reserved, but other people seem so much more anxious to put their views out there (and most people I know don’t have blogs where they can pontificate) that I tend to hang back, even when I’m with close friends. I don’t mind playing that role since I usually learn something in every conversation I have and I’m a knowledge glutton, but sometimes I feel like I’m not holding up my end of the conversation.

One of the things that stood out most for me was how Ms. Headlee listed off some of the “rules” of conversation that we’ve all heard and suggested we toss them out. She followed that with an astute reason why those rules are more likely to work against the success of a conversation than for it. Instead she provided 10 tips, which I believe are easy to follow, that rung true for me about how to converse well.

So, if you want to be a better conversationalist, if you want to get more out of your interactions with others, if you are so inclined, take the ten minutes to watch Headlee’s TED talk. (Link to the talk here)


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