Being a skilled conversationalist is essential for maintaining healthy relationships, achieving personal and professional success, and making a good impression on others. As a renowned psychologist, I’ll share two strategies that can help you consistently improve your conversations, even at the age of 16. So, let’s dive in!
1. Setting Clear Intentions
Before engaging in any conversation, it’s crucial to set clear intentions. These intentions should revolve around two aspects: the desired outcome and the emotional atmosphere you want to create.
Think about what you aim to achieve from the conversation. It might be something tangible, like resolving a disagreement, or something more abstract, like gaining insight into another person’s perspective. Consider your goals as well as the goals of the person or group you’re speaking with.
Begin the conversation by acknowledging the other person’s desired outcome and expressing your intention to collaborate on finding a mutually beneficial solution. Make sure they understand that you genuinely care about their needs and are not merely trying to impose your own desires.
Determine how you want the other person to feel during the conversation. Whether you want them to feel curious, comfortable, courageous, or hopeful, it’s crucial to embody those emotions yourself.
Take a moment to internally focus on the emotions you’d like to convey. Breathe in these emotions and let them settle in your heart and gut. This emotional alignment will help you create a positive atmosphere during the conversation.
2. Reflecting on the Conversation
Learning from our experiences is essential for personal growth. Reflection allows us to understand what worked well, what could be improved, and how to apply this knowledge in future conversations.
Reflect Right After
Resist the urge to check your phone or get distracted immediately after a conversation. Instead, find some time to reflect on the experience while the details are still fresh in your mind.
Ask yourself the following questions to help you learn from the conversation:
- Did you achieve your intended outcome?
- What turned out to be most important during the conversation?
- What went well, and what could be improved?
- What needs to happen now?
- What did you learn that will help you in future conversations?
By regularly reflecting on your conversations, you’ll gain valuable insights that can help you continually enhance your communication skills.
Consistently improving your conversations involves setting clear intentions and reflecting on the experience afterward. By implementing these two strategies, you’ll not only achieve better outcomes in your interactions but also strengthen your relationships with those around you. So, start putting these techniques into practice and watch your communication skills flourish!