People often ask me what to do on a date or in a relationship when trying to start a conversation. Many of us learned how to communicate in our families and with friends so we may only know one style; our own. Learning a couple of basic skills can help us make the most of communicating with anyone. Try these ideas next time you are talking to a date or someone you are in a relationship with.
1. Listen actively.
2. Ask open ended questions.
3. Listen actively.
4. Did I mention listening actively?
One of the easiest ways to help a conversation get started and build is to listen and ask questions. To be an active listener try the following:
1. Look at the other person.
2. Really listen carefully and give all your attention to what the other person says rather than thinking about what you want to say next.
3. Nod or say uh-huh to indicate you are listening.
Open ended questions are formed by asking questions that can’t be answered with a yes or no. Ask “What did you think about that?” rather than “I bet your really thought that was horrible.” The open ended question will invite the other person to tell you more rather than answering yes or no.
Try these common sense ideas and you will be on your way to gaining a new understanding of other people. I wish you all the best as you begin mastering the art of communication.