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Use Communication Skills to Make More Meaningful Conversations
Sarita Maybin Sarita Maybin
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: San Diego, CA
Thursday, October 26, 2023


“People do business with those they know, like and trust,” according to the popular expression. As such, it benefits us to know how to use communication skills to make more meaningful conversations.

I recently quoted those wise words when I was interviewed by Reader’s Digest Magazine for a communication article: How to Talk to Pretty Much Anyone. I also shared some of the communication skills I used to make friends while growing up in a military family, moving every 2 – 3 years. And I pointed out that those same skills have served me well when making connections—personally and professionally—as an adult.

Here are some tried-and-true tips that I mentioned in the interview—and you may have heard me mention them in my communication keynote presentations:

  • Listen to understand instead of just awaiting your turn to talk.
  • Make eye contact and nod. This is a subtle non-verbal way to let the other person know that you’re listening and engaged in the conversation. Nothing makes a person feel more special and heard than receiving undivided attention. That sounds obvious but in our high-tech times so many people are looking at their devices during a conversation.
  • Smile! It’s a wonderful way to show that you’re open and friendly, especially when meeting someone new. It sounds like a toothpaste commercial, however, it’s really an important way to make a positive connection–with strangers and those we know.
  • Compliment the other person. People love being acknowledged and noticed. Plus, it’s an excellent conversation starter!
  • Acknowledge the other person’s comment before sharing your thoughts. For example, “Sounds like you had a lot of fun on your road trip.” After they’ve responded, then add your comments about similar experiences.
  • Invite the person to share their opinion with who-what-when-where-how (the 4 W’s and an H) phrases. For example, “What were the highlights of today’s workshop?” or “How will that new policy affect your team?” or “Where do you hope to travel on your next vacation?” (This also helps prevent one-or-two-word answers.)
  • Ask about favorites. For example, “What was your favorite vacation?” “What favorite restaurants do you recommend?” or “What are your favorite things to do when you’re not at work?”
  • Tolerate silence and pauses in the conversation. Personally, I find that one to be difficult and want to race to fill the void. My favorite way to segue out of an awkward silence is to say “I was just pondering_________. What are your thoughts on that?”
  • Validate and empathize When someone shares concerns, instead of saying “Oh, you’ll do fine on that presentation” say, “I know it can be a bit intimidating presenting to your work colleagues.” This is one of the best examples of how to use communication skills to make more meaningful conversations.
  • Stay open to negative feedback and criticism. Instead of getting defensive and making excuses for something that went wrong, ask for more information: “How can I make it right?” or “Tell me more about what happened.”
News Media Interview Contact
Name: Sarita Maybin
Dateline: San Diego, CA United States
Direct Phone: 760 439-8086
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