Conversation is a part of human nature. We’ve been communicating for as long as we can remember. Conversation is an opportunity to meet someone new, bond over common interests, share stories, learn something new and feel that spark of connection.

Now, I think conversation is a skill that we all claim we’re good at or at least can ‘participate’ in. Regardless of how good our banter is, we can all move our mouths and communicate with the person next to us. But what if the conversations that we’re having aren’t that great? What if we’re not actually really paying attention to the person who’s telling us what they did last weekend or what happened to them when they went overseas last month?

In this world, which every conversation has the potential to break out into an argument, everyone has a point of view and are less likely to compromise, it means we’re not listening to each other. We make decisions about crucial life choices, like who we marry, who our friends are and where we live, based on what we already believe. Again showing that we aren’t listening. Conversation requires a balance of talking and listening, and somewhere along the way we lost that balance.

Celeste Headlee, who has worked as a radio host for decades, knows the special herbs and spices to a great conversation. Honesty, brevity, clarity and a healthy amount of listening. Check out her Ted Talk below as she shares 10 useful rules for having better conversations.

 

Enjoyed this talk? Head on over to Ted to watch more. There’s a topic on almost everyhting.