How To Be A Great Conversationalist

May 29, 2013

There are several people I know that I consider to be great conversationalists. People seem drawn to them and they are never short on people to talk to. Many people would be honored to be called a great conversationalist. I have had people tell me they enjoyed conversations with me, and I cherish that feeling.

You may ask, is there a simple formula to be or become someone people want to talk to? Can you become one of the people I mentioned above, where people crave your company? I believe anyone can be a great conversationalist. In fact, it’s so simple to do, I can provide one word of advice. Are you ready?…..

The simple key is to….LISTEN!!! The best conversationalists are those that listen well and let the other person do most of the talking. The fact is, every human being thinks what they have to say is important. If you’re the one who lets them say it, and demonstrate sincere interest in what they are saying, you will have a friend for life. Those people will continuously seek your company. I’ve seen it with other people, as well as myself. I’ve had conversations where I did very little talking, and listened intently on what the other person had to say. I was told how much they enjoyed talking to me, and how they couldn’t wait to do it again. I barely said a word!

I will say it again. People cherish the opportunity to express themselves and say things they believe to be important. They also long for anyone who is willing to listen and appreciate them. When you listen well and allow people the opportunity to express themselves, you won’t have to say anything. People will automatically seek your company, and you will never be short of friends.

This philosophy works extremely well in business as well. For years I worked as a customer service supervisor, handling complaints from angry customers. In almost all cases, the situation was resolved much easier when, instead of preaching our company’s policies, I listened and let the customer express their frustrations and concerns. They appreciated that opportunity, and were much more workable for a mutual solution.

I challenge you to monitor your conversations today. Let the other person do most of the talking. Listen intently, demonstrate sincere interest, and encourage them to talk even more. I can almost guarantee they will think very highly of you, and will tell you and others how much they enjoy your company.

I think it’s time for me to practice what I preach. I’m doing too much of the talking here, so I turn it over to you. Please share your valuable opinions. I am listening intently!

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A Powerful Challenge

November 3, 2011

Every once in a while, we experience a day on the job that is memorable, and one of a kind. I experienced that type of day today. At the school I work at, a representative from Colorado spoke about a program called Rachel’s Challenge.

In case you do not know what Rachel’s Challenge is, I will explain. It goes back to the unfortunate school shooting event at Columbine High School. Rachel was one of the students killed. She stood out because after her death, much information was found and shared about the wonderful contributions she had made, the hospitality she showed, and her mission to bring happiness and kindness to everyone she came in contact with. Her family decided to honor her by continuing the contributions she had already made and sharing her positive message with as many people as they could.

The individual that came to our school today spends her time traveling the country sharing the message with schools. The goal is to use this example to create a positive, caring environment. I will say that my school certainly needs this. I was very happy to have this program at my school because I have been praying on a regular basis for some type of positive influence in the school. It’s a great place, but is unfortunately infested with much negativity between students, teachers and students, and worse, teachers and teachers. I saw today’s visit as an answered prayer, as now our school is taking major steps to instill this much needed positivity.

I now share this challenge with those close to me, and anyone reading. With this challenge are five guidelines to showing the same kindness and love that Rachel did. They are:

  • Looking for the best in others. Everyone, no matter how many mistakes they’ve made, has something good about them. The key is to look for it, then focus on it.
  • Treat others as you want to be treated. This rule is “golden”
  • Stick with positive influences. There are so many negative influences out there. We need to be aware of who we allow to influence us. Rachel was influenced by Ann Frank and Martin Luther King. Find positive influences to follow and continue their example.
  • Use positive words only. Sticks and stones will break bones. You think names can never harm? Negative words can scar worse than any broken bone. Positive words can change someone’s life in a matter of seconds. Which influence do you want to be?
  • Forgive yourself and others. We all make mistakes. We have choices. We can allow those mistakes to drag us down. Or we can learn from them and let them go. When we let them go, we release the burdens that prevent us from loving ourselves and others.

As you can see this is not an easy challenge. However, it is definitely doable. I challenge myself and anyone else to do all we can to be this type of person. One who treats others (and ourselves) well, finds only the best in others, and does all they can to make this world a better place.

In the presentation they talked about causing a chain reaction of positive events. By following this example, we can cause a chain reaction of positive events and impacts on the world around us. If I died tomorrow, that’s what I would want to be remembered by. Would you take this challenge today and make your world a better place? If more people did this, our world would be so much more positive. Thank you Rachel for this wonderful model of life.


Will They Listen? – How to Be Sure Your Voice Is Heard

September 23, 2011

There are many voices out there longing to be heard. Many of us want to have influence and impacts on the world around us. However, with so many others out there looking to do the same, we often wonder if our voice will ever be heard.

So what’s the key in getting people to listen to us? The answer is that it’s in our own hands. Or should I say our own ears. Ready?…The best way to get people to listen to us is to listen to other people. It’s as simple as that.

I have learned through study and experience that the best conversationalists in the world are the ones who say the least. It’s because they are listening intently to the other person instead of doing the most of the talking themselves. People love to talk about things that interest them. If you let someone talk continuously about something they enjoy, they will adore you for it, and will seek your presence in the future as well. There have been many occasions where I did very little talking, but listened intently to the other person. In many cases the people thank me for the excellent conversation and tell me how easy I am to talk to, even though I didn’t say much at all.

Another benefit of being a good listener is that we get a better of idea of what people are interested in. When we know what they like or what their goals are, we can serve them accordingly and find ways to help them get there. When you can help somone get what they want, the positive impacts you can have on their lives are endless. And besides blessing others, your life will be blessed as well, either by directly by the people we serve, or indirectly in some other way.

The bottom line is that, if you want your voice to be heard, listen to those of others. You will stand out in the eyes of those who are desperately seeking someone to hear their voice, as well as those seeking you for solutions that they believe you can provide. By simply listening to others, your opportunities for service, influence, and blessing are without limit. Please listen to me, because I have seen these rewards in my own life. Enjoy the blessings : )