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An in-person exchange gives us the opportunity to see and be seen by our cohorts — a seemingly small detail with significant consequences.

Celeste Headlee: The Dying Art of Conversation [The Knowledge Project Ep. #51]

Even the most introverted among us can learn how to diversify, deepen and comfortably practice the simple art of conversation. Just striking up a conversation with a stranger is daunting. In part because all that initial, seemingly meaningless chatter about sports or celebrities or the weather can feel disingenuous. But even close acquaintances usually warm up a bit before getting down to the soulful stuff. Hyperion, Approached thoughtfully, small talk can be fun and energizing. Here are a few ways to break the ice. Chat about something you really enjoy and invite others to do the same.

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I collect rare books, and this week I found an early edition of a Dickens novel. Do you keep any collections? Is it vintage? Use open-ended questions. These give the person answering some latitude in how he or she responds, says Fine. Some useful queries:. While any number of things might have gone wrong, there are a few subtle faux pas sure to put an early end to an otherwise pleasant discussion. Closed-ended personal questions. Avoid potentially touchy queries unless you already know the answer, stresses Fine.

Dwelling on the downside.

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Niche topics. Too much minutiae about an early-American cookie-jar collection can quickly drain the life out of a conversation.

The Art of Conversation: Change Your Life with Confident Communication by Judy Apps

Test the waters with a limited revelation of your passions first. If your partner glazes over, change the topic. Beware the monologue. Here are a few ways to spice up your verbal relationship. Listen Up. If you catch yourself doing this, turn off the inner dialogue. Reveal a little. Give him or her a sentence instead. Ask for more details. Tell me more.

The Art of Conversation How Talking Improves Lives

Mix it up. Both Baldry and Shepherd suggest that a change of venue can often be all it takes to spur a deeper exchange with someone familiar. Arrange for a meeting outside the office. Novelty stimulates the production of dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter, which can help us loosen up and share more. This also explains why email and other written correspondence, where there is an absence of body language, is often misunderstood. Joe Navarro spent his career analyzing nonverbal cues during his interviews with suspects as an FBI agent.

The authors believe that the limbic system of the brain, which plays a key role in regulating emotion and behavior, stimulates certain involuntary movements that stem from our basic survival system freeze-flight-fight. When you know how to read these involuntary signals, you can pick up clues about how the conversation is going, and adjust your own language and body language as seems appropriate. Watch those feet. Business consultant Ori Brafman and psychologist Rom Brafman are interested in what allows people to truly bond. In their book, Click: The Magic of Instant Connections Broadway Books, , they explain how to be fully present during conversations.

Every day we use our mobiles and computers to communicate, but ironically we are losing touch with face-to-face talk. Catherine Blyth reveals the endless possibilities of conversation and shows that when it works it can come close to heaven. With examples from Elizabeth I to Tommy Cooper, courtesans to nomads, The Art of Conversation is full of tips on listening, the perfect handshake, talking shop and surviving conversational bores. Be it sharing a joke with a stranger, sparking a new idea or just letting off steam with a friend, there are infinite adventures to be had if you break the ice and say hello.

A bit of fun by a young genius.

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