How to make a conversation with anyone in a few simple steps.
A conversation is like reading a book. You can turn to any page you want. You can flip to your favorite chapter. You can read as long as you want and you can read what you want
Conversations are links.
With every conversation we build new links. Until finally at the end we’ve created a kind of massive worldwide web of conversations.
A conversation gives you a whole new perspective. A conversation opens a door. The conversations can make war. And conversations can make peace. And conversations define who we are as a human race.
Simple ways that you can make a conversation with almost anyone:
How do you talk to a stranger?
Strangers. They are everywhere and we’ve always been told don’t talk to strangers but I beg to differ. Every stranger comes with an opportunity — an opportunity to learn something new, an opportunity to have an experience you never had or hear a story that you’ve never heard before. And you had that moment, right?
You’re in the room with someone you don’t know and you look across the room.
You see a stranger and you think I want to talk to this person and you can almost hear the first word but it just won’t come out, it kind of get stuck in your throat, it kind of goes up and down and you don’t know. You know what, here is an advice. Just say it. What’s the worst that can happen? They won’t to talk to you. Well they’re not talking to you now.
- The first word Floodgates: I truly believe that the first word acts as a floodgate. You know, once you said the first word, everything else just flows. So keep it simple — a hi, a hey, a hello.
Just gather the enthusiasm, the positivity, the energy, put on a big smile and say hi.
2. Skip the small talk: Don't get stuck in the rut of hi, hey, how are you? I’m fine. What’s going on? Nothing much. Same old. So tell me what’s new?
Skip the small talk and ask them a really personal question. And don’t be afraid, trust me. You will be surprised how much people are willing to share if you just ask.
So ask any kind of personal question, maybe interesting name. How did your parents think of it? Is there a story behind it? Or how long have you lived in this city and do you remember the first day you landed here? You see, answers for those questions are always something unique, always something personal.
For example when you are riding in a cab or whenever you sit in a cab, you can do this. you can ask a question to the driver: where do you come from and where does your family live?
Warning: What starts with a hello can end with a marriage proposal 😜
3. Find the me-toos: When you meet someone for the first time, make an effort to find the one thing that you and that other person might have in common.
When you start at that point and then move outward from there, you will find that all of a sudden the conversation becomes a lot easier. And that’s because the both of you are suddenly on the same side of something. And that’s really a powerful feeling.
What could you possibly have in common with a stranger you ask? Could be anything. You’re both in the same place at the same time. Maybe you’re from the same country. Maybe you both like the summer or you’re longing for it to rain.
When you find a me-too you automatically have a kind of buy-in from the other person.
4. Pay a unique compliment: People will forget what you do and they’ll forget what you say but they will never forget how you made them feel. So be generous and go out and give someone a nice full compliment.
There are some words that each of us have developed an immunity to, it could be nice. It could be awesome. It could be cool. Stay away from these. Try and construct a compliment that’s unique and genuine and you don’t have to lie.
5. Ask for an opinion: All of us have opinions, trust me and we all want them to be heard and everybody wants validation. So go on and ask for an opinion and that’s when you open up a two-way street. That’s when the real communication begins and you will be surprised how much you can pick up about a person just by asking that opinion on something pretty generic.
Don't make the mistake of asking an opinion about something really difficult. It feels almost intimidating.
Just ask something simple, keep it generic. How do you like your coffee? When was the last time you watched a movie? What did you think of it?
And when somebody gives you their opinion, really listen and don’t listen to reply. Listen to listen. There’s a difference.
6. Be Present: You know when someone’s trying to communicate with you, the least you can do is really be in that conversation, just be wholeheartedly present. Just be there.
Make eye contact. Trust me, eye contact is where all the magic happens. You can feel the conversation and trust me, when you’re looking at someone in the eye, nine out of 10 times they will not dare look away. Right?
7. Remember their name: Remember the little details about a person. Remember their name. It’s so important.
Remember someone’s name and say it back to them. You have no idea how important you’re making them feel. And that’s not the only detail. Remember all the other details as well — the places they like to go to, the places they’ve been to, the places they want to go to, their pet’s names, the things they like.
Remember their children’s names, that’s such a winner. And remember their wife’s names, and their girlfriend’s names, just don’t mix up the last two, because that could be disastrous. 😆
Remember these little things about people and repeat it back to them, ask, be genuinely interested and automatically you kind of become an investor in their well being. So they feel responsible to you to keep that conversation going.
A conversation is like reading a book. You can turn to any page you want. You can flip to your favorite chapter. You can read as long as you want and you can read what you want and every person, trust me, is a really good book.
So what are you going to do in this big world that we call the library? Are we going to walk around and look at the hard bound copies and read the titles? Or are you going to actually reach for a book, open a page and start reading a story. You decide.