How To Make Small Talk: A Guide To Productive And Positive Conversations
No matter what Law of Attraction goals you’ve set, the ability to have consistently good conversations can dramatically speed up your manifestation process. Small talk is a useful skill when dating or trying to advance in your career. It’s also a powerful way of maintaining a high vibrational frequency that attracts more positivity into your life.
But what are the best ways to up your conversational game and ensure you create a good impression? Here are some of the best straightforward but effective strategies you can use to have productive and positive dialogues with others.
Use People’s Names
There’s strong evidence to suggest that using your conversation partner’s name helps to foster intimacy and give a sense that you’re attentive.
Think about your own response. When someone remembers your name when they’ve only met you once or twice, you feel good about the fact you’re “worth” recalling.
Of course, you don’t want to overdo the repetition of another person’s name, as that quickly becomes annoying.
In general, aim to use their name just a few times in the first 5-10 minutes of an initial exchange with someone. Look for natural places in the conversation. For example, try using their name at the end of a question you’re asking.
Pay Attention To Your Hands
You’re probably already aware of basic facts about body language, such as the fact that folding your arms creates a defensive posture that tends to push people away instead of drawing them closer.
That being said, one of the less well-known facts about body language concerns the position of hands. Specifically, if you keep your palms and hands open when you’re gesturing, this is subconsciously detected as a sign of honesty and an invitation to engage in mutual trust.
Many people are very wary of silence, panicking if there is so much of a pause in a conversation. However, silence is actually a tool that you can use to your advantage! Especially if you’re looking for ways to make your interlocutor feel more engaged.
If you pause for a moment, you communicate that you’re giving serious thought to what has been said. Plus, you also indicate that you’re happy to respectfully wait for the other person to continue when they’re ready to say more.
In general, people who are comfortable with silence are also perceived as more confident. This is a useful impression to give in almost any endeavor.
Combine Eye Contact And Laughter
Research on social connectedness shows that when people are in a group, they respond to a funny event or comment by looking at the person to whom they feel closest. You can use this information to reverse engineer greater bonds with people. In other words, deliberately make eye contact with a particular individual when you’re laughing in a group. Their brain will interpret this information as a sign of connection between the two of you.
For example, this is a nice trick for boosting potential romantic interest. Or, for smoothing over a sense of distance or mild dislike between you and a colleague.
Paraphrase And Summarize
When therapists are in the early stages of their training, active listening skills are some of the very first things they learn. While there is more to good therapy than just being able to listen, this vital ability creates the foundation for a positive and productive relationship with a client.
Think about how you can use these same skills to improve the tone and results of your own conversations. In particular, try “reflecting back” what you’ve heard. For example, by paraphrasing or summarizing what you think the other person has said. Not only does this demonstrate your understanding and attentiveness, but it also opens up avenues to correct misunderstandings.
It sounds so simple that you might wonder whether it really helps to boost productivity or positivity in small talk. However, nodding can make a difference to how you’re perceived.
Firstly, if you nod while you’re asking for something, this actually increases the positivity of the other person’s response. It makes them more likely to agree with your ideas or requests.
Meanwhile, sporadically nodding while the other person is talking is a great way to let them know that you’re carefully following their train of thought.
Ask For More Information
Finally, people generally love to feel like they’re interesting. Or, like you want to hear more about the things that matter to them. As such, one of the best ways to have more positive conversations is to show such an interest. Ask open questions which can’t be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”.
As well as creating a more favorable expression of yourself, this approach allows you to learn new things. It also gets a much more concrete picture of who you’re getting to know.
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