How good is your ‘conversational competence’?

This might sound like a strange question to ask, but is there any 21st century skill more important than being able to sustain an engaging, coherent and confident conversation?

Nothing beats a good face-to-face conversation for making a deep and meaningful connection.  But much of today’s communication is based on being EFFICIENT rather than EFFECTIVE.

‘Posting’ on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook can help get messages across, but these one-way broadcasting tools are no substitute for a meaningful fireside chat.  WhatsApp and traditional e-mail are wonderful tools, but messages are easily lost in a tsunami of information overload.

Whatever happened to the lost art of picking up the phone?!?!

A conversation consists of both talking and listening. We are in real danger of losing this most vital human skill.

We all remember great conversation – the kind of meeting when you’ve walked away feeling engaged and inspired, or feeling like you’ve been perfectly understood and made a real connection.

This can be achieved both face-to-face or by whatever e-meeting platforms you’re using.

So when the opportunity to meet does exist, here are 8 hot tips to make that great conversation happen:

TIP #1 Don’t multitask during meetings – stay focused and “in the moment”

TIP #2 Be genuinely curious and interested in others – they know if you’re not

TIP #3 Use open-ended questions to obtain full answers

TIP #4 Listen to understand, not just to respond with your next question

TIP #5 Summarise and reflect back what you’ve just heard

TIP #6 Don’t talk about ‘you’, your product and services until much later on

TIP #7 Listen for what’s NOT being said

TIP #8 Follow up afterwards, perhaps with a hand-written note (rare indeed!)

And if you’re still not sure what to say, there are a range of simple but effective conversation models I can share with you.

To request these, click HERE.

I sincerely hope these tips help you move to the next level. In today’s climate these can really help you stand out from the crowd.

And while writing…

If you live in Hong Kong and want to donate part of your HKD10,000 cash handout, please consider the ICC’s campaign to support abandoned children with disabilities (I’m on the HK Board).

If you would like more information on the charity, please watch the video below…