LOL, TTYL, TY and IMHO might be part of the way we communicate
today; however, conversations remain the building blocks of relationships. Without them, we form relationships that are devoid of substance. Unfortunately, we live in a world where the modern MO seems to be more email and less talk. People either think they don’t have the time or don’t think it’s necessary to take the time to have real conversations with each other.
Here are five reasons for re-mastering the art of conversation.
1. It’s the glue of great relationships.
You can email someone regularly, but it is only during a real conversation that a bond with them actually begins to strengthen. Think about this in terms of your professional life. Who do you trust more? The wholesaler with whom you meet a few times a year or the one who only communicates via email? Sure, you might enjoy doing business with both of them, but when it comes right down to it, your relationship
with the wholesaler you regularly speak to is probably stronger.
2. It’s the only way to see what someone is saying.
Face-to-face conversation is the only way to take in the total message someone is sending. It allows you to take their inflection, emotion and physical gestures into account along with what they are actually saying. It also allows you to show the person that you are listening and truly value what they have to say. Skype works, but nothing replaces face to face.
3. It’s an opportunity-making skill.
Being a conversationalist can lead to great opportunities. Cross-selling new products to your current clients rarely happens through email. More often than not, opportunities are agreed upon by a client during a phone or in-person conversation
4. It’s a great way to invest in others.
The act of listening — the other half of having a great conversation — shows people you care. Have you ever been around someone who just wants to listen to you, wants to hear all about your day, or your recent trip? Someone who is truly interested in you? You might not find them very often, but when you do, they really stick out. When you speak with someone and listen to what they have to say, you are showing them you value them.
5. It is not a requirement to be the most outgoing person in the room.
Being outgoing is not a requirement for participating in or initiating a great conversation. The only requirements are that you be authentic
and show that you value what the other person has to say. You don’t have to impress them with your every word.
If you’ve lost an appreciation for the art of conversation, it’s time to re-open that door. Behind it are stronger relationships, more opportunities, and a more satisfying way of running your business. These days, there are millions of ways to communicate, but it may be time to stop emailing, walk away from the computer, and have more conversations.