You are on page 1of 21

Conversation techniques

Holding a conversation is quite a useful skill that some people do naturally but the rest of us need to work at. Here are some methods and ideas you can use to initiate and sustain a sparkling conversation! • • • • • • • Opening the conversation: How to get things going. o Ask them easy questions, Ask them about themselves, heck your list, More... !heir name: !he most important thing you say. o "inding their name, #emembering their name, $sing their name %uilding rapport: %onding with them. o Active care, &ncouraging, 'istening, More... #eflecting: %ouncing back what they have said. o (araphrasing, (arroting, &)trapolating, More... *nterrupting: !aking back control so you can speak. o Agreement *nterrupt, %ody 'anguage *nterrupt, larification *nterrupt, More... +ustaining the conversation: ,eeping things going. o Ask their opinion, oncern for the person, *nterest in the person, More... losing the conversation: How to walk away. o %e negative, %ody pointing, aught short, More...

1.Opening the conversation
Ask them easy questions
+tart out by asking them questions that are easy for them to answer. A good balance is around two or three closed questions, that have short answers, and then one open question, where they have to think and talk more. &arly on, it is often better even with open questions to keep them simple and easy. -hen doing this, remember to sustain interest in them and what they have to say. &asy questions can lead to stock answers, but remember that the goal is to get the conversation going, not discover what the &asy topics include: • • • • • • !he weather .especially in climates where it changes often/. #ecent news .though be careful about difficult topics that may lead to emotional arousal/. "amily .siblings, where they live, etc./ History .what school they went to, where they hav lived, etc./ -ork .what they do, people at work, etc./ Holidays

Hobbies and sports

Isn't it a great day? Did you get out in the sunshine, today? Did you hear about the accident down town? Isn't it awful? Do you have a brother called Joe? I do like your dress -- where did you get it?

0uestions are an easy way to open a conversation, especially if you are prepared. *f the other person is uncomfortable .and they often are/, then questions that are easy for them to answer is a good way to make them comfortable whilst engaging them .rather than having them listen too much to you/. &arly on, do also remember to stay away from potentially contentious topics unless you deliberately want to create an impact. ritici1ing the (ope, for e)ample, is a not a good idea if you do not know whether the other person is a atholic .even conservative non2 atholics may find such a move disturbing/.

Ask them about themselves
Ask them something about themselves. *f you do not know their name, then start there. ompliment them about their appearance. Ask them where the got that nice suit, watch, hat or whatever. omment on their cheery condition, ask them why they are looking a bit down. +ay they look distracted and ask why. Ask if they have family, the names of their children, how old they are, how they are doing in school and so on. Ask about their occupation, their careers and plans for the future. Ask about hobbies, interests and what they do with their spare time. (ay attention when they give you an answer. +how interest not only in the answer but them as a person as well, possibly evoking a betrayal response. And when they tell you something, show interest in it. "ollow up with more questions.

You look thoughtful. hat's u!?

hat are you going to do this weekend? "hat's a lovely #u$!er, where did you get it?

including informal chat sub4ects and formal things to remember. her family and how to dance the salsa . for e)ample when you are going to meet somebody important to you. for e)ample chatting up a member of the opposite se) or talking about technical topics with peers. *f you ask questions but do not follow up. makes visuali1ation and mental access of the list a little easier. in a purse or pocket. 'isten to other people in conversation . * can talk about myself all day long if somebody asks me the right questions and seems to be really interested in what * have to say. .including people who talk to you/ and add inspiring ideas to your list. %e careful also with sensitive sub4ects. *f you sense that they are uncomfortable with what you have asked.eep it in your wallet and take a peek 4ust before you get into a conversation. +he reviews the list in the car before going into talk with the customer. 5ou can have speciali1ed lists. he takes a peek at the list to remind himself. . 3ote that the level of intimacy in the questions depends on the level of relationship. 5ou can keep a standard list that can be used in any situation. this would probably look at bit anal. apologi1e as necessary and change the sub4ect. and tick off the sub4ects as you cover them.Discussion !he most interesting person in the world is me. *n a social situation. then then they may conclude that you are not really listening and are false in your apparent interest. 6ust having the list close to you. . A sales person keeps a list of things to ask customers.which he has found she is learning/. He elicits help from friends and his list includes the concert ne)t week. 6ust before he sees her. A list provides an easy way of remembering things to say or discuss. *n a business situation it often looks efficient to have the list out in front of you. you can spend time beforehand listing things that you can discuss . Check your list Description Have a long list of things you can talk about.eep building your list.or maybe that you want to discuss/. Discussion *n the pressure that we often feel when starting a conversation it is easy to free1e or otherwise run out of things to say. 5ou can also have one2off lists. Example A boy is going out with a girl for the first time.

the temperature. talk about the music. hat's your star sign? )erha!s I can find it in Discussion -hen you are bereft of ideas about what to say. who other people are. whether it is particularly happy. and so on. -hen you have little time. for e)ample complimenting them on their hair. 5ou can even talk about yourself. !riggers are often used in creative methods to bounce to new and very different ideas. you can talk about the weather. from apologi1ing for strange dress to saying something about how you feel. nature. -hen the other person has something that they particularly want to talk about. what to drink and so on. plants. though a straightforward comment is better than nothing! Example I don't know if it is going to rain -. an)ious and so on. !hey provide something for a fro1en mind to latch onto and can thus be used to unfree1e and move into action. architecture. the stars. things around you can be an easy source of inspiration. clouds. Get to the point Description *n some conversations.Use environmental triggers Description 'ook about: !here are many things all around you that you can use to start a conversation.what do you think? %ook at that wo$an over there& I've never seen such a low-cut dress&& "hat's '(uarius u! there. !ry to say something original. dress and general appearance. . thoughtful. the heavens for you. *f you are outside. +ituations where this may appropriate include: • • • • *n many business conversations. trees. 5ou can use trigger from the other person. *f you are at a party or in a social situation. what they are doing. it is better to get quickly to the point rather than start with small2talk. !hus you could see a tree as a weird hand reaching out of the ground like a horror movie and hence start a conversation about horror. what others are wearing. -hen the other person has little time. 5ou can also take a cue from their mood.

As appropriate. add some brief niceties at the beginning and watch carefully to see whether the person looks impatient or interested in small2talk. triggering a response which you are seeking. so whatever you do. so the best way is to control your feelings. asking them about their person lives beyond a basic courtesy may well be considered rude or lacking business focus . especially if you have never spoken with the person before. Discussion *n many professional situations. !he basic principle is to build the first steps of trust. then your eyes will convey this.• • -hen what you really want talk about will not take long. "or e)ample if you are talking with a busy senior manager. *t is difficult to control your eyes. the 7hello7 part. Smile :ake the eyes friendly. 5et many people blunder through these moments as they charge towards their chosen destination. so don7t stare. -hen a quick question gets a quick answer and hence what you want. All situations. Example A child interrupts it7s mother 4ust as the doorbell goes and whilst she is on the phone. however. pushing the person into an unthinking answer. particularly during the greeting. Greeting !he first few seconds of any conversation. !he mother quickly agrees. are variable and this cannot be a definitive or complete list. !ell yourself that this is a human. seeing a busy professional buyer. *f you genuinely are interested in the other person. is e)tremely critical. *n a few seconds99 5es.the same is true in many other situations. make eye contact. +mile and mean it. don7t pretend. but do give them a reasonable duration of friendly eye contact. 4ust like you and who deserves . -hen in doubt. 8etting to the point straight away can also act as a kind of shock tactic. ook Look them in the eye -hen you talk with them. A danger when getting to the point because you are in a hurry is that this may discomfort other person such that they do not engage with you and might even take revenge in some way. if any. it is not appropriate to spend much. asking permission to go out with friends. "alse smiles do not reach the eyes. !he alternative is to lose it in a few seconds. do some self2talk before you begin to put yourself into the position of really caring. (rolonged eye contact signals either aggression or se)ual interest. A sales person. time on small2talk. asks 4ust enough business2focused questions to understand the buying conte)t before getting to more serious sales talk.

your respect whatever else you may think. a simple neutral introduction is to say your name and employer. 5ou can show and build confidence. *f they go limp. *f you do not know their name. Greeting as promotion . 5ou can pro4ect authority or other attributes. assertion or passivity in the first moments of a greeting. instead of answering 7fine. add something about what you want to say. Act Shake hands . 8enerally. !his both shows that you are paying attention to them and that you consider them important. you can use the words of the greeting to promote what you are selling or even yourself. +mile inside first. you send big messages. but not a bonecrusher.. 6ack. -hen somebody asks you how you are. bow or whatever 8reeting is a social ritual that varies greatly across cultures. *n other countries hugging and kissing can range from mandatory to forbidden. though do be careful as a greeting between friends can be very different from a greeting between a senior manager and a lower subordinate. *7m good. !peak Say their name *f you have been told their name.7 #esist the temptation to immediately dive into product talk. *f you are a man. *7m #ichie %ennow from 6emson onstruction. 7Hello. both within a country and particularly across countries. Kiss. watch how others greet one another. *7ve 4ust opened a new store and folks are flocking in7. thank you7.or whatever the local custom is. bowing is often important. *n many &astern countries.. let it grow. Handshakes can tell a lot about a character and can show aggression.epending on your situation. Project 6ust with how you look at them. Introduce yourself *f you don7t already know them. a firm handshake is best. use it immediately. be particularly careful when shaking hands with a woman. !ry to match the other person7s pressure. don7t squee1e hard. *f in doubt. then remember it. . such as 7*7m very well and looking forward to working with you today7 or 7:ike. All you will get are ob4ections. *n fact you will always be pro4ecting something 22 the trick is to pro4ect that which you want them to receive. discover it. then pro4ect it out with radiant warmth. including how low you bow and how often.

. particularly if you want to dominate the conversation. you can decide whether to bluff it out or admit you were having fun . $an. +ay you are an Arctic e)plorer. Yuh hear $e? "he leader. (articularly if you will never meet the person again. but you can make up something strange about yourself. Discussion !alking about yourself can be used to show your status and superiority. but it is also an opportunity to intrigue the other person and get the conversation going. I'$ the leader of the -ookahs.o this in the e)change of a balanced conversation or such as a teaser to surprise them. family and hobbies. *t helps you position yourself relative to the other person and also within their frames of reference. particularly in sales. *ey. #emember not to tell too much about yourself at once. I'$ no good with co$!uters."ntro#uce yoursel$ Description A simple way of starting a conversation is to introduce yourself.and then talk about fun in general/. you are saying that you trust the other person not to attack that vulnerability and so establish a pattern of mutual trust. %y e)posing a vulnerability.h. . )hew. a reformed burglar or an assassin or something else outrageous. occupation. giving the other person something about which they can ask or reply. although in some settings boasting can be permitted or even desirable. A powerful approach.oing it too much or too early may make you look like you are seeking sympathy or are conceding in supplication to prevent them harming you. 5ou can also do the opposite. . is to include a description of what you can do for the other person. Heaven forbid. $an. this can be harmless fun. daft or interesting. !his may seem simple. a professional mud2wrestler. (lay it cool. . :ore adventurous topics include some of the things you have done which are brave. It's good to $eet so$eone who knows what they are talking about. thus taking control of the conversation. %e very careful about appearing too arrogant or otherwise putting the other person off. I s!ent all last weekend looking for a new house. your union re!resentative. thus e)tending the conversation. *f they challenge you. +imple topics include your name. $se this introduction to offer a straw. I can hel! you with any e$!loy$ent issues you have. $se this as an opportunity to show that you are like the other person in some way. showing that you are different. *t can also be used to show that you are friendly and harmless. Example *ello. I'$ Jeff +arker. 'n' don' we have fun.

but do have a practiced words for important parts 22 and the start is usually the most important bit. 'earn it off by heart so you can say it without sounding like you are reading it out. -hen the other person corrects you. I hear. so they can easily correct you.when you are actually wearing green/ Discussion -hen * say things that are clearly wrong. which can be a very effective way of getting it right. Example . #ecord yourself and listen to ensure it is natural. thank them and be impressed by their knowledge . is that right? I thought I'd wear blue today. -hen you are going to regularly face a number of situations. Alternatively. you can have a whole repertoire of scripts.o not script the entire conversation. rather than believe what you are saying is a firm fact. but not too much.but do not over2do this/. :ake this a simple factual error. 5ou can also practice with a friend. !his casts the person in an e)pert role.e!!elin are a /er$an band. !he conversation can then continue around the question of how you got your facts wrong or how they know the right answer. *t often helps to indicate that you have been informed incorrectly. you can debate whether the item is true and perhaps let them persuade you. !ry to find a sub4ect that will wind them up a bit. Example %ed . . it offers a simple corrective response to the other person. which usually makes them feel good.!ay something %rong Description +ay something that is incorrect and which the other person knows is wrong. Ask them a question in which they will have to tell you that you are wrong. !hink carefully about what you will say and the effect it will have. !cript the start Description -rite out a script that you will recite at the start of the conversation. . !hanking the other person for a correction also strokes their ego and positions yourself as an open person who can take criticism. 0ow I've been told you are fro$ )orts$outh.

+how that you do not care what others think of you.isplays of prowess are common across the animal kingdom. Example You know. . One way you can do this is with what you say. but you do want to impress. A person who is being given an award scripts the first part of the thank you and practices it with a friend.A sales person practices her pitch in front of the mirror. . not to terrify. 7+hock and awe7 is a name used for a military tactic where a display of overpowering might is used to encourage the enemy into submission. when you are likely to be nervous or when the conversation is particularly important.shouting/ /ood heavens& You are the $ost beautiful !erson I have seen&& Discussion . it is well worth the investment of thoughtful words and practical practice. I can tell you. don't you think? ell they didn't find all the $oney so I should be ok. Ama1e them with your bravado. +urprise happens when you break e)pectations.o or say something surprising or shocking. I've #ust co$e out of !rison. A boy who gets nervous with girls writes out a number of chat2up lines and learns to deliver them with wit and aplomb. Discussion Although you do not need to script the start of every conversation. 5ou do not want to create fear with your display. including humans. *ave you ever tried fighting a crocodile? It's not easy. as well as how you look. 1ive years for fraud is #ust too $uch. . +how them that you are not afraid of anything. !ypical situations where scripting is useful include: • • • +ales presentations to customers *nternal company presentations to important groups -hen you are meeting someone special and want to make a great impression !hock an# a%e Description . *t can also lead to fascinating conversations. !his can make you interesting. +miling whilst you shock and awe can be a way of showing that you are not serious. %e anything but boring and normal. reate awe and wonder.o match your tactics to the situation: your goal is to ama1e.

-it must be played very carefully. %ut if you do not mind winding up a few people. but very quotable comment. "he only thing worse in the world than being talked about is not being talked about. so long as he does not love her. e3ce!t the obvious..on7t you think7 or some other provocation to respond after such a remark. "he husbands of very beautiful wo$en often belong to the cri$inal classes. o$en can discover everything. then even this can lead to interesting conversation. . wouldn't you say? My dog wanted to co$e tonight. ascerbic or any other style. ' $an can be ha!!y with any wo$an.&it an# %is#om Description Open the conversation with some witty or cogent remark that is designed to ama1e. Oscar -ilde was a famous wit who would open a conversation with an often controversial. or use the quotation. as it can easily annoy some people. 5ou can either use quotes like these directly. !he success of any method is in the effect that it has. but he didn't have a suitable tie. dry.what do you think7. 5ou can use ironic. 5ou can add 7. cynical. but it was hushed u!. Discussion . such as: It is very sad to see that nowadays there is so little useless infor$ation around.isplaying wit signals that you are interested in something outside of normal mundane conversation. for e)ample saying 7Oscar -ilde said. 'nyone here $ust be a co$!lete layabout.. If I were you. annoy or otherwise trigger an interesting discussion. I would be careful about being seen with so$eone like $e. Example I wonder how !eo!le have ti$e to co$e to these things. '$erica was discovered before 2olu$bus.

Ordinals were often used. and they will not hear anything. *t is actually easier to remember 6ohn2-ilkinson than 6ohn alone.'. such as (rimus or +e)tus to indicate birth order. !he !raeno$en was the given name and equivalent of a forename. • $se visuali1ation. 5ou can be the other side of the room. often because you have used that name in so many different conte)ts that it has become unattached as a concept. use and manage the names of the people you meet and especially those who you intend to persuade. !he cogno$en was a nickname by which the person was known. !hus the #oman orator icero . !he no$en was their gens or family name. they will hear it and become attentive. talking. attaching it to key points and when they want particular attention. !his also helps build rapport. remember. such as !ullius and was the equivalent of a surname. and was seldom used on its own. . Discussion In ome #oman citi1ens had three names. *t is thus important to find. #epeat their name out loud several times soon after you have met the person. such as :arcus. *magine someone called 6ohn 7sitting on the 6ohn7. emembering *t is remarkably easy to forget a person7s name. A trick in remembering a person7s name is to attach it strongly to the person. because 6ohn2 -ilkinson is far more unique. *magine :rs 8reen as painted green.(heir )ame *ersonal )ame Description A person7s name is more than an indicator 22 it is an embodying symbol that has a highly personal relationship with the person. *magine the person with their name tattooed on their forehead or otherwise written on them. wearing green clothes. +ome ways of doing this include: • :ake an aural connection. Influencing All sales people know that a person7s name is one of the most powerful tools of influence and they will use it carefully.<=> % ? @A % / was the cognomen of :arcus !ullius. but if you mention their name. such as icero. • #emember the name as a forename2surname combination. • $se metaphor and analogy.

*t is quite common to forget a name . Another trick for finding names is to call the company and ask for the person by title 22 with luck you7ll get a response something like 7*7ll put you through to :r. tilting your head and leaning forward slightly. !sk someone else An easy way is to find their name is to ask another person 22 not in front of them.7.. particularly in 7polite company7 is to be introduced by someone else. Introduce yourself One way of asking2without2asking is to introduce yourself. *n work. all is not lost. *f they do not.+in#ing their name -hen you meet a person or know that you will meet them. Asking them. *f they follow.7-ho are you997/. isn7t it nice here 22 * don7t think *7ve met you before 22 could you tell me your name97/. *t also shows you as taking the lead. then the first task is to find their name. +ometimes a few niceties beforehand helps . .. for e)ample asking other people in the office about the new person or calling a target person7s secretary. +ay your name .. shows an interest in them. of course.they may have forgotten yours!/. you can encourage them with body language such as raising your eyebrows.7Hello. which is a good way of starting to build rapport. although beware of appearing impolite . "ntro#uctions Get introduced !he most common way to find a person7s name. done well. Or. then keep leading! *f you forget. Asking !sk the person 5ou can also. it is most often about their 4ob. ask the person directly. of course. *n a social situation.. 6ohnson now.and perhaps a very brief biographical item/ and then pause. and do not know their name. this may be something about their family or where they live. *n many situations it can actually be quite a strong thing to display a vulnerability. !hey should then reciprocate with the same detail. A formal introduction includes the full name of each person and some biographical detail. 5ou can also ask a person off2line. 7-ho7s that person over there97 is a common surreptitious question.

including forename and surname. 6im 22 8ood to meet you. !his may often be legitimately done.Look it up *f you have time. At a conference it may be on the list of attendees. can * ask you a question about that9 &rite it *f you can. writing it down is a good method.epeat it One sales2person7s trick is to use their name three times within the first couple of minutes. Exten# it *f you remember the person as 6im then you can easily get confused with other 6ims. !ee it . my name is 6im. 5ou may also confusing with sound2a2like names.possibly even with photographs/ may well be at your fingertips. !hey may also give it to you written down on a business card . like !im or -im. 5ou can also get them to write it. !his is easier in a meeting. At a meeting it may be on the agenda. there7s the marvelous modern miracle: the internet. you might find it written down somewhere. Hi.emembering their name *t is ama1ing how quickly you can forget a person7s name . *t is well worth learning a few tricks to help fi) it in your mind. where you may legitimately write down the names of the people there.a good way to get their card is to give them your card/. !hus remembering 76im :ontgomery7 is more unique and hence can be more memorable. -riting it down may seem embarrassing.and how embarrassing this can be/. request form and so on. And if you are inside the company. for e)ample on an email. for e)ample if you are running the meeting. :y cousin is called 6im. . A way around this is to remember the whole name. ompanies often have their officers on the main website. but it can actually also say that you find the other person so important that you must keep their name safe. !hen find e)cuses to use the name or 4ust use it in questions or elsewhere. !he first repeat is to repeat it immediately.which may make you look a bit impolite. the whole directory . so get in first if appropriate/ or to use their name in conversation. "ait for someone else And of course you can wait for someone else to either ask for their name . Are you one of the %erkshire :ongomerys9 6im. . And of course.

with 6im :ontgomery. -ear it +ometimes visuali1ing is not enough. %i7. +etty. they are often referred to by a shortened version of the name. you could have him dressed as a burglar. :ake the name itself do something. *f the name is unusual. Another method is to imagine a person you know with the same name standing beside or behind them. check which version they prefer. *t is often polite to ask a person what they like to be called. %i7a. 6li7a '$anda4 Mandy 8a$antha4 8a$ Discussion !he short name is also called the 7diminutive7 and may be used by adults to name a child.7/. !hort name Description -hilst people have given. -e remember things that stand out. having been called this from early life. 4immying open a window on a house on a mountain . &ven if other people call a person 7!om7. 5ou can support remembering the sound by saying it out loud. you might first say what a nice or interesting name it is and ask about its origin... *magine the person doing something that plays out their name. so make the name and the face stand out together.7*s that *sabel with an 7a7 or an 7o797/. and you remember only the shape . !hen when you see the person. "or e)ample. +eth. you can see the name as well. "ony 5ichard4 5ich. !his can be helped by including the sound in the memory. +otto$ line: -hen a person has a name that can be shortened. first names. for e)ample imagining the person with their name written on their forehead or hung in a sign around their neck or above their head. *n this case.7mount7/ whilst shouting 7gomery cricket!7. Ask about it -hen you hear their name. 5ichie Jose!h4 Joe 6li7abeth4 +et. you might demonstrate respect by asking them if you can call them 7!om7 too. ask for clarification on such as the spelling of their name . the person may adopt and accept the contraction. Example 'nthony4 'nt. . *lay %ith it Another way is to build a story or ridiculous image around the name.7*t was a four letter word beginning with 6.(lay visual games.

which of course means they now owe you.hildren often rebel. that's a good !oint and I'd like to add so$ething i$!ortant. $sing their name is like handling the person. . and the diminutive form may make them feel they are being treated as a child and. 6ust by recogni1ing that they e)ist.. come here at once!7/./. Are they talking about you9 Are they trying to get your attention9 -hen the other person is talking and you want to say something but are having difficulty in breaking into the conversation. I think you should be ready to start. . 8usan. 5ou can also link it with a particular item with which you want them to associate themselves. +ometimes parents use the child7s full name only when they are admonishing them .. +ometimes the preferred shortened name is something that the person selects themself. Jane. you have done them a great favor ... *n this case the person may continue to prefer the shortened name into adulthood. Using their name $sing a person7s name in a conversation is a key trick that most sales people know well. 2an you i$agine yourself. saying their name can be an effective way of 7grabbing the talking stick7. however. dropping their name into a sentence will effectively bring them back to a state of attention. $se this in particular when you want them to feel good about themselves. -hen you are talking to a person and they seem distracted or have otherwise disappeared off into their own head somewhere. prefer their full name.and when we get to the city. Joe. such as the idea of which you are trying to persuade them. as an adult. massaging their &go and hence boosting their self2esteem. #emember that the person7s name is a !art of who they are. *f a stranger uses the short name they may be considered as being too familiar..7Ale)ander. so be careful with it.. Grabbing attention Have you ever been somewhere when a person used your name. perhaps as an act of asserting control and establishing a separate identity. wearing this out tonight? 8i$on -.. Ackno%le#ging i#entity $sing the person7s name acknowledges their can be saved. $se of the short name can be a sign of intimacy and thus may also be associated only with friends.. perhaps in conversation with someone else across the other side of the room9 A common reaction is to suddenly pay attention.

*f in doubt.o they smile9 Or do they look a little irritated or tense. !his may well allow you to use it without worrying about reaction.oes it rela) them9 . of course. !his is useful to remember when you say a person7s name. 6ones7 or 75our worship7 may be appropriate in various circumstances. thus gaining permission to use a familiar form . 8teve. . I want you to think about how you. such that they will more easily trust one another. as the person may have a rebellious response against parents. %e careful with this. !hus 7:r. which is likely to have the reverse effect to that desired. Informal usage !he informal style is typically more casual and friendly.even more often/ teachers use the formal format of a watch the response you get carefully/. which then gives you leeway to ask for favors without having done something for them first. !he use of the different forms of the name will have a very internal effect on them. do you think it would work? If anyone could succeed. parents and . where two people feel a bond between one another. 8teve. could benefit fro$ this. the formal style is also more respectful. . try using the formal style. (eople thus will have an association of obedience with the formal style. /.they are unlikely to ask for a formal style unless they really do not like the informal style/.An interesting additional phenomenon is that you will sometimes also be able to remember a few things that were said 4ust before your name was mentioned. *f you use it too much.apport 7#apport7 is 7a feeling of sympathetic understanding7. #ormal usage Bery typically. *t may well be worth being careful. -atch them carefully when you use their name: . !hus 7:ichael7 may well be called 7:ike7 or 7:ick7. then they may frame you as a friend.uil#ing . as usage may be seen as too which is which and be careful before becoming informal.. "ormality may also dictate use of surnames and honorifics. 8teve. and the use of the formal style may cause an adverse reaction . !he implication of this. One approach is to ask the person what they prefer to be called. . depending on the associations they have. however. it will be you.e%are o$ over#oing it %e careful when using their name. 8teve. 0ow. is that if you want to be obeyed. then you may well appear to be attempting to manipulate them. *f it is the latter. +ormal an# in$ormal :any people have formal and informal forms of their name. lay off the name2 calling at least for a while. *f you can be seen as friendly.

+ynergi1ing: ombine ideas for an even better idea. . #eflecting -ords: &cho individual words they say. *n psychoanalysis.on7t wait to be asked.. you will both feel a sense of ownership of it and hence will be more ready to share more. :atching: *ndirect copying of actions. +ynergi1ing: ombine ideas for an even better idea. Open Honesty: &)posing your own vulnerability. &ncouraging: 8etting them to speak. #eflecting Berbal +tyle: $se their overall modes of speech. • • (arroting: +imple repetition. 0.e$lecting !he term 7reflecting7 can be interpreted in two ways: sitting back and thinking or bouncing back to the other person what they have communicated to you. %e #eliable: . (assive are: . :irroring: . -hen you reflect back to the other person what they have said. (araphrasing: #ephrasing in your own words.irect copying of their actions. !his helps both testing understanding and also building rapport.o no harm. it not only makes sure that you have understood.• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Active are: . it also shows your interest in the other person and helps to build a relationship with them. identity is first formed in the mirror phase.uil#ing A constructive way of reflecting what a person has said back to them is do add to what they have said in some way.eliver on your promises. #eflecting back to the other person something of themselves is thus a powerful process. . *f you build something between you. $se their name: +how you know them. !his section is about the latter. (arroting: +imple repetition of what they say. Holding 8a1e: eye2to2eye attraction. (araphrasing: #ephrasing in your own words. 'istening: A powerful method of creating a bond. !his can be the beginning of a life2long process of fascination with our own selves and is at the root of narcissism. !his also will act to build rapport with the other person. • • &)trapolating: &)tend their thinking into the future. where we first see an image of ourselves. (esting un#erstan#ing 5ou can use reflection to test your understanding of what the other person has said. o2location: 6ust be nearby.

isagree with what is said."nterrupting *nterrupting the the other person is one of the key skills of conversation..istraction *nterrupt: %ecome distracted by something else. creating a bond between you both. *t should always be kept in mind in any case.. #eflecting can be used primarily for this purpose. &ncouragement *nterrupt: . larification *nterrupt: Ask for clarification. particularly where you want to change the other person7s mind. Here are some of the common methods available: • • • • • • • • Agreement *nterrupt: &nthusiastically agree. • !raps in #eflecting: -ays it can go wrong.or no reflection/ can have the opposite effect. "nterruption techniques !here are a number of interruption techniques you can use to 7grab the baton7.eep them talking.. • • #eflecting words: &cho the words they say. And here7s some other thinking about feedback. rather than what they say. 2. An#. ontinuation *nterrupt: (ick up where they might leave off. )on1verbal re$lecting 5ou can also reflect non2verbal 7body language7 back to the other person.Creating rapport #eflecting what a person says to you back to them also builds rapport. as poor reflection . #eflecting verbal style: $se their overall modes of speech. :atching: *ndirect copying of actions. taking control of the conversation.isinterest *nterrupt: Appear disinterested in what they say. . • #ogers7 "ive "eedback !ypes: Carl Rogers' typology of feedback.irect copying of their actions. repeating what they do. . • • :irroring: . #eflecting does not always work as intended and you need to be vigilant to ensure you do not fall into any of the traps. heck you understand. .isagreement *nterrupt: . . %ody 'anguage *nterrupt: 3on2verbal signal intent to butt in..

!opical events: !alk about news and recent events. (rogressive disclosure: !ell a bit about yourself at a time... Here are a number of suggestions for ways to keep things interesting and lively such that the other person does not want to leave! !peci$ic techniques Here are some specific techniques that you can use to keep the conversation going. -hen not to interrupt: +ometimes it best to listen for a while. oncern for the person: &mpathy always works. *nterest in the person: Ask about their lives. doesn7t it9 3. Overlapping speech: -e often start before others stop. !ell stories: $se the power of the storyteller. 'inking: onnect what is said to other things. but7 *nterrupt: +ay 75es.. 0uestion *nterrupt: 6ust ask them a question. 75es.7 Articles about "nterrupting *nterrupting can be a tricky sub4ect. but. (ermission *nterrupt: Ask if you can interrupt. !echnology and interruption: *t grabs you. -hen to let others interrupt: 8oing the other way. and7 *nterrupt: +ay 75es. *dentity *nterrupt: (rod the identity of the person. and...7 75es. )otes an# tips . How to stop people interrupting: $seful when you want to finish.!ustaining the conversation *t is one thing to opening a conversation. • • • • • • • -hen to interrupt: +o they let you in and listen. 'oudmouth *nterrupt: !alk more loudly than the other person. Here are some more tips and observations. :otormouth *nterrupt: 6umpinandtalkquickly.• • • • • • • • • • &)ternal *nterrupt: $se a third party to interrupt. !opic list: %uild yourself a bag of interesting topics. (ower *nterrupt: $se your power to grab control. !ouch *nterrupt: !ouch them gently as you interrupt. -hen not to let them interrupt: +ometimes you need to keep talking. • • • • • • • • • Ask their opinion: On any topic. and it is another to keep it going. (lans for the future: !alk about what will or might happen.

+pot a friend: -ave to a friend and go to see them.eclare completion: +ay that the conversation is ended. (hone calls: $se the phone to call you away. • • • Accepting criticism: .on7t let it become an argument. Also remember that the most powerful way of keeping a conversation going is simply to ask questions that the other person is interested in answering.Here are a few additional thoughts to keep in mind when you are sustaining a conversation. if you do it well. %ody pointing: (ointing your body away from the other person. %alanced conversation: 8ive and take in good measure. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • %e negative: %e generally negative and poor company.e2accelerate to a standstill. . +low down: . "eign ignorance: %e unable to answer their questions. *n practice. and then doing a great deal of listening. Out of time: Have another appointment. *ntroduce a friend: +o you can e)cuse yourself. -hen they are trying to close the conversation you can gain social credit by noticing this and gracefully letting them go. it can also be difficult to close a conversation so you can either move to another topic or move away to talk with someone else. losing down a conversation can also seem like bad manners. 5ou can also ease the closing of a conversation by only 4oining groups of people.Closing the conversation *f some people find it difficult to start a conversation and others find problems keeping it going. +hort answers: !hat give no reason to e)tend. 4. aught short: +ay you need to go to the toilet. !his makes it easier to e)cuse yourself and move on. . "hen others try to close A useful additional note is to watch for these methods being used by other people. rather than going up to individuals standing alone.escribe the essence of what has been said. (rocrastinating: (utting discussion off to another time. losed questions: reate short answers. you will only leave them with a warm glow. !o interrupt and walk away from somebody might make you wonder if they will think badly of you for this terrible social act. &)cuse yourself: 6ust e)cuse yourself and leave. &nthusiasm for the sub4ect: *nfect them with your passion. +ummari1e: .

I'$ #ust fine. then other people trying to close down can be used in two ways.for e)ample if you are selling something/. it is a signal to you that you are probably not getting through to them. !lease. . hildren use this when they know their parents are worn down and trying to get some peace. "irst. *f it is important for you to continue the conversation .I can see you need to leave. 2an I go to see Janak tonight. 5ou can also use the fact they they want to leave as a lever. /o on -. !heir desperation may well let you get what you want with a simple request. letting them go only when you get what you want from them. and you should the perhaps change your tactics.