The art of conversation during the holidays can feel difficult even anxiety producing at times. This happens more often during the holiday season.
When you talk, do people listen or do they talk to someone else? Do you find people moving onto another topic when you haven’t finished a thought?
Do You Feel Heard?
If this is happening, you might feel as if what you say is not important. You don’t feel heard. It’s difficult to feel heard when you are around friends and family less frequently.
Time and space expand the less you see each other. Your and their perspective may have changed.
You might want to pursue this change, but the dinner table or party is not the time.
You can learn to have successful conversations as well as feel heard, but it might take some practice.
This season, make it different, practice these steps to the art of conversation and see what a difference it can make.
Do No Harm
Having a successful conversation centers on a single theme. Just like the physician’s code of conduct, first do no harm. No matter what your convictions, never try to convince someone that you are right and they are wrong. Anything religious or political, is not accepted..period.
Ask questions. My mother always said, when you want to have a conversation, learn how to ask people about themselves.
Discover common ground… ask about their favorite sport, their children, food, restaurants and clothing likes, vacations, etc.
Finding common ground can be exciting and expand your own horizons too!
Be a Nice Person. Compliment them. Saying something nice that is authentic shows you notice the person. Everyone wants to be noticed! You can do it!
Keep It Light
Small talk is ok. Remember you aren’t there to change opinions or give a lecture! Sometimes we forget that this is as simple as asking the one thing they are looking forward right now.
The Known Project
Several years ago, I bought the Well Known book for each of my children, and one for my husband and me! It’s become one of my favorite books for conversation starters. We take it on the road with us as start to the art conversation differently. It’s surprising what a little prodding can do to become more creative in your daily chatter!
As you begin your countdown to the Holidays this year, consider exploring these ways to engage in good and get into deeper, more meaningful conversations.
I promise you’ll be richly rewarded for your efforts. You may even walk away feeling heard while having a memorable experience this year.