Here are 10 tips for having better conversations:

  1. Be present and engaged. Don’t multitask – give your full attention to the person you’re speaking with. Make eye contact and put away any distractions.
  2. Ask open-ended questions. Questions that require more than a simple “yes” or “no” invite the other person to provide more detail and perspective.
  3. Listen more than you speak. Let the other person do more of the talking and focus on understanding them. Don’t just wait for your turn to respond.
  4. Avoid interrupting or talking over someone. Let them finish their thought before responding.
  5. Be curious and ask follow-up questions. If something interests you, ask for more information. People like it when others are interested in them.
  6. Look for common ground. Focus on shared interests, experiences, or opinions as a way to find a connection.
  7. Be positive and upbeat. Having an optimistic, cheerful demeanour can help set a friendly tone.
  8. Use positive body language. Nod, smile and lean in to show you’re actively engaged and listening.
  9. Avoid judgmental language. Don’t criticize or belittle the other person’s views.
  10. Be comfortable with silence. Don’t feel like you need to fill every pause. Moments of silence allow time for reflection.

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