All, and I mean all, conversations have a reason; an underlying need from the initiator to persuade the listener to understand fully or buy in to what he or she has to say. No conversation is hollow, the initiator alway has a meaning or a hidden agenda.
A simple “hello” demands a reaction, and when you do not get a response you instantly feel let down, angered, or hurt.
What are you trying to get the listener to “buy into” with a simple greeting? What’s the hidden agenda? Maybe it’s as simple as you’re feeling good today and you want others to do the same, or maybe it’s your boss and you are building the foundation for a conversation you want to have about a new position or raise.
So how do we break the barriers of conversation and get the listener to buy in?
The greeting, This will set the tone for the follow on. Entice the listener to come into the conversation, be pleasant, finish with a smile, be earnest.
The question, everyone has an opinion and everyone wants you to know theirs. This by far has to be the most important part of a conversation, it sets the tone and allows you to read the others energy. Once the listener acknowledges your greeting, give them the question. “How are you doing?” “Beautiful weather isn’t it?” “How is the family?” Be sincere!
The body. This is where you can input your reason for starting the conversation. That new position, a raise, asking them out on a date.
The closeout, going back to the question use that and use their answer. If you ask about the weather, say “enjoy the weather” or possibly “stay dry”. Recapping the question tells them you were listening to their needs or wants, remember the buy in works both ways.
Let me tell you where a conversation can fail, I call it the double Dutch dilemma. Take two girls jumping rope; one is in the middle jumping rope, the other is jumping outside the rope waiting to hop in. She hops in cadence with the other girl waiting for her turn, maybe even asking to “let her try”.
Like the girl on the outside of the rope, when in conversation, people want to be heard (jump in). You may even get wrapped up in what you want to say so much that you either cut the other person off by sheer impulse or you do not listen to what they are saying. Do not be the girl outside the ropes listen intently and wait your turn. The outcome of your intended conversation likely depends on it.