A Good Conversationalist
What makes a good conversationalist. Simply? Well, just learn to shut up.
I find being interested, asking questions, listening, not interrupting and constantly talking about yourself is the key to being good at conversation.
I have a young friend for instance, who loves nothing better than talk about himself, about his passions, about his idol John F Kennedy, and about politics. He complains and gripes about absolutely everything. Sometimes he will say, “and how about you? You never tell me anything about yourself, what have you been up to”? And when I try to tell him about myself or my stories it quickly goes back to his tales and his gripes and complaints. But I am interested in him and listen to him and say yes or no or I disagree on this or that topic or agree with another. If I do have the hide to interject, he says “hang on, I haven’t finished yet”, and continues on his merry way talking and talking without seemingly taking breath.
What is in his mind fascinates me, this is what drew me to him in the first place. Why should I stop him, and his thoughts coming out so freely?
I recall the times I was travelling extensively for work by either air, rail or otherwise, and I would have younger guys join me on their regular commute. They would seek me out or save me a spot beside them for the trip into work or else the trip home.
Oftentimes, I would wonder whether I had the word psychologist written across my forehead, as I would get stories about home life and especially discussions about relationship problems, and their lack of sexual gratification in their married lives.
Being a good listener, being empathetic about their situation and being understanding is perhaps the key to good communication channels, and although I never gave advice, I was always a good listener and sometimes quite shocked at what they were telling me.
In this industry, we need to be very good at really listening, sometimes our clients just want to talk and be listened to and be understood. That is why they love to be in our company. We genuinely care, we genuinely want to please and we genuinely want to listen and understand our client.
We are in this industry for a very good reason and it is not simply because we want to be paid for what we do. Yes, OK we need to be compensated, we need to be appreciated monetary wise for our time. We need to eat and also need to pay our bills, but at the end of the day we chose to do this because we are compassionate, we love to please and we want to know what you like and how we can give that to you.
Good conversation is the catalyst to a satisfied man.