Good conversations take time and attention. Here's how to have better ones

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2021-11-25 21:30:04

Having good conversations — with strangers or with your closest friends — is an art. It requires attention, something that's in high demand these days.

Celeste Headlee has spent her adult life talking. She's a longtime radio and podcast host, and even did a TED Talk about how to have a good conversation. But she says she was terrible at talking to people when she was younger.

People think that "being present" means not looking at your email or texting during the conversation. It also means giving people your entire attention and not thinking about what you're up to later that day. Really focus.

It's easy to stop listening when you're planning what you're going to say next. Think of listening like a river. We dam it up all the time when we stop listening in order to think about what it is that we're going to say next. As soon as those thoughts come into your brain, you need to let them go out of your brain and then return back to the conversation.

Stop lecturing. It might make you feel good, but it only makes you feel good for a very short span of time. And it definitely doesn't make the other person feel good.

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