The 10 Commandments of Incredible Conversation

listening skills

In no particular order, here are ten common social blunders that you may have stumbled upon through your own experiences at parties or gatherings. We’ve boiled them down to their essence. Take note of what you may have done yourself, and what to avoid in the future.

1. Negative Mindset.

This doesn’t have anything to do with confidence; confident people can fall into this trap as well. If you have a negative, self-defeating mindset, you’ve already alienated yourself. If you’re convinced you’ll just be rejected or ignored, you will. It will show on your face like this morning’s breakfast. (Eggs?)

2. Be open.

If you stand in front of somebody, unsmiling and with your arms crossed, you’re not sending a very inviting message.

3. Speak.

Sounds pretty obvious, doesn’t it? It makes perfect sense, yet how many times have you remained silent, waiting for the other person to say hello, smile, or introduce themselves. Take the initiative and break the ice.

4. Speak Good.

You’ve decided to follow our advice, take the initiative and be the first to speak. Great! Let’s listen in, ‘So, ummm, where to you work?Screech! The conversation veers straight into the guardrail. Try to avoid using dull, generic lines. Say something interesting, or you’ll end up having yet another two minute conversation like, ‘Uh, is it busy at your job…where you work?

5. Speak when Spoken to.

Another obvious one. Once again, think back to how many one word answers and mono-syllabic grunts you’ve responded with in your lifetime compilation of failed conversations. This is the verbal equivalent of hanging a ‘closed until further notice’ sign on your face. If you’re afraid of saying something stupid, pause for a second and think of something. Give a signal, put your hand on your chin to show you’re about to respond, distract them by tap dancing, whatever you do try and think of a better response than, ‘Yup.’ If all you can think is ‘yup,’ at least expand it into a full sentence.

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