As you might have noticed from the social situations you’ve been in post lockdown, people are a little rusty in terms of conversation skills. It seems like some have gotten a little too reliant on technology to communicate and forgot how to talk to other humans in person. The good news is if you’re among them, you can get your conversation skills back. Here are some things to work on:
- Be Present. Sorry, there’s no mute button IRL and no way to hide that you’re texting instead of listening. You need to be actively participating in the conversation and making it clear to the person you’re talking to that they’re heard and valued. Acknowledge the things that say and every once in a while, check in on your body language. You don’t want to send any non-verbal signals that you’re distracted or bored...even if it’s true.
- Find Common Ground. If you’re not great at feigning interest in people’s stories, start asking questions you’re genuinely interested in and find some things you have in common with whomever you’re speaking to. Sometimes it takes a little more digging but there’s always something both sides of a conversation enjoy blabbing about.
- Don’t Plan. The only thing worse than a bad conversation is a forced conversation. And that’s how you’ll come across if you start dipping into canned questions of lines. It’s always better to let things move naturally and be patient if things don’t click right away.