How to Have a Conversation
Communication can happen in many forms.
And those forms allow us to realize that nature wants us to interact.
There is a man-machine communication. Like when you are talking into the camera for making a YouTube video.
Animal to human communication. A pet owner and their pet.
Human to human communication. Aka a conversation.
A conversation seems so simple, yet there are so many moving parts!
It’s a complex system in action.
A system is a set of individuals components that give life to something new when combined.
A car is a complex system.
Meaning that a steering wheel alone won’t mean much. 4 random tires alone don’t mean much. The brake alone doesn’t mean much.
But combine all the parts strategically?
That’s when you get a car.
In this post, we are going to discuss how to get the individual components of the social world to learn how to have a conversation.
It seems so easy. But trust me, it’s not.
There are fundamentals that need to be learned.
So let’s learn it.
The Components of a Conversation
A conversation is defined as a talk between two or more people.
‘So what are the components that make up a conversation?’
So before I answer that, let’s just realize that there are 5 levels of communication.
- Communication with the self (self-awareness)
- 1 on 1 dialogue
- Group conversation
- Public speaking
- Mass communication
The type of conversation we will be discussing today will be level 2 communication.
In order to become good in a group conversation, you need to get the 1 on 1 dialogue part down.
Otherwise, you will do too much, when you should be doing little (this statement will make more sense later on.)
The components of a 1 on 1 dialogue are:
- Another human
The language allows you to create an invisible bridge from yourself to the other human.
The language used strategically will allow you to inform, understand, converse, inspire, etc.
Creating the Motion of the Conversation
Now that we know the components of a conversation, let’s discuss how to get a good dialogue rolling.
‘I know Armani! Since we are using language, I need to focus just on that!’
Language is the means to an end.
It’s simply a tool that allows you to open the connection.
It’s the other human that we are focusing on.
When you are using the internet, to surf the web…what are you curious about?
‘The web page that I am trying to open.’
Aren’t you curious about how the internet works?
‘No, not really. I am more curious about going on YouTube so I can watch the funny cat videos!’
We want our internet to be good enough so we can surf the web. But ultimately, the main focus is on the webpage.
It’s the same with a convo.
With conversation, our language needs to be good enough to a point where we are enunciating, speaking up & speaking clearly.
But what’s IMPORTANT is the other human.
The biggest mistake in regards to communication is getting caught up in the words or waiting for the ‘right things’ to say.
In order to get the complex system of conversation running smoothly, you want to realize that language simply opens the connection.
But it is the other human that is our primary focus.
What Do I Talk About?
This is a big question with regards to communication.
‘What do I talk about?’
Well, there are 2 elements that all conversation content comes down to:
Questions are when you are seeking more information from the other party.
Contribution is when you are outputting information into the dialogue.
This simple dynamic is what allows us to create the dynamic conversation.
We focus a little too much on contribution. And we do this because we are focusing too much on ourselves.
When we focus TOO much on ourselves, we disengage from the present moment & start having a conversation with ourselves rather than the conversation partner.
If you can keep the focus on them, then your job will be a lot easier.
With questions, start off surface level before going deep.
Asking about someone’s sex life when you first met them is awkward and may have you viewed as a weirdo.
But talking about that personal stuff with your friends may be more normal.
A surface-level question may regard the environment that you are having the dialogue in.
‘What bought you to this networking event?’
I get it, not everyone vibes with small talk.
But small talk sets the foundations to have a more meaningful connection later on.
As the dialogue begins, your conversation partner will leave a thing called ‘hooks’ either consciously or subconsciously.
These are parts in the conversation that you can ask further questions about.
Dialogue partner: ‘When I FINALLY decided to quit my last job, I decided I wanted to become an author.’
If you look closely, there are 2 hooks you can latch onto.
–Finally decided to quit: you can ask, what was the breaking point to quit?
–Wanted to become an author: you can ask, why an author specifically?
You get the point.
Contributions come in all shapes and sizes to be honest.
And its a form of creativity on your end.
If you are focusing more on the conversation partner rather than you, then the contributions become natural.
You’ll realize that when you pay attention, that your contributions become a subconscious act rather than a conscious one.
Meaning, you don’t have to THINK as much, you just flow.
-Contributions can be you telling a story.
-Adding a follow-up point to something the other person said in order to relate with them.
-Telling a joke.
-Teaching them something.
No one can tell you EXACTLY what to contribute. Nor should you want them to.
Each contribution depends on a case by case basis on variables like what you are talking about, your conversation partner & your life experiences.
The main tip I can give you is to stay present and keep working on turning the conversation from formal -> informal.
Informal is when we are loosening up & acting like oruselves.
In order to reach informal quicker, you just need to practice having more conversations.
A Bad Conversation
Sometimes the person you are talking to is boring.
You are asking questions, contributing, telling jokes & they are giving you nothing.
Sometimes you can work on pushing the convo further.
Other times, you just need to say ‘fuck it.’
There are TOO many people in this world to try to breathe life into someone that is disinterested.
Find someone else to talk to.
This requires judgment on your end.
You’ll notice if someone is nervous based on their body language.
Touching their neck a lot, darting eyes, soft voice etc.
But if they are just giving off a condescending vibe, then it’s time to exit.
These people are a waste of time & want you to do all the heavy lifting of the convo. Not worth it.
Other than dumping boring people, aim to not be boring yourself.
I talked about transitioning from formal to informal so you can have fun sooner.
Every conversation needs some time to loosen up. But make sure you set informality as an intention.
Being informal is great. But it’s not great if you don’t know when to shut the fuck up.
If you TALK too much or keep waiting for your turn to speak, then you, my friend did not put focus on the other person.
That’s how you have a bad conversation.
A great conversation is about doing LESS, not more.
When you do less, you disengage thinking faculties and can just flow.
So just flow champ.
Flow like water.
How to Have a Great Convo like a Winner
If there is anything you got out of this post, let it be that your main focus is on the other person.
That’s why when you listen, everything else sort of works out in your favor.
But when you don’t listen?
All the language in the world won’t save your ass!
Fall back and do less.
Each conversation you have makes you better for the next time.
You take all the lessons from each convesation into the next one.
Put your reps in and practice.
Social intelligence comes to those who MOVE, not sit on their butt.
So move & put your social muscle to use!
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– ArmaniTalks 🎙️🔥