The 11 golden rules of conversation

I was in a cafe in Argentina with my daughter a few weeks ago and on the front of the menu was a list of “the golden rules of conversation”. Now whilst it was quite amusing (see the picture below), I thought there must be a reason – even if it is just for the sake of conversation – that they chose to promote conversation.

Are we losing the art of conversation? Do many people communicate more by text than in person? Does anyone pick up the phone for a chat anymore?

The words we use define our reality – as do the conversations that we choose to have. Exploring ideas, shooting the breeze, revealing a story or anecdote are all part of the wonderful world of words.

I have taken the liberty of editing and embellishing the golden rules based on my own experience. They are all absolutely obvious but sometimes don’t you wish you had them at hand when you are wanting to engage in a conversation with a colleague, spouse or perhaps a teenager who seems caught up in his or her own world.

I love a great conversation – I love words.

The 11 golden rules of conversation

  1. Listen with intention (not waiting for the other person to finish so that you can speak);
  2. Put away all phones / devices from sight. Respect the person you are with;
  3. Don’t dominate the conversation – it is a team sport;
  4. Speak of things that are interesting – and be interested;
  5. Use your facial muscles to acknowledge what you have heard, frequently – perhaps even smile;
  6. Don’t change the topic every sentence and let the discussion evolve. Dance in the conversation;
  7. Ask questions about the other person, his or her interests or ideas, rather than speaking about yourself;
  8. Don’t ask a question of the other person thinking that will cover off what they want just so you can spend the rest of the time talking about yourself;
  9. Respect different view points and opinions – there is no ‘right’ in a conversation;
  10. Be authentic; and
  11. Use positive words and don’t slip into ‘gossip’.

Naomi Simson golden rules of conversation

Okay so I might well sound like I’m from another century (oh that’s right I am)…

One of the greatest things in life is our ability to connect and communicate with others of our species, whether that is at work, home or in the community. Conversation, language and words give us the richness of our existence; conversation is as much about listening as it is about contribution.

Ask yourself when was the last time that you had a ‘deep and meaningful’ conversation that left you touched, moved and inspired. Perhaps that is your ‘one thing’ for today. Have a great conversation that will leave you feeling connected with the other person or people involved and guess what – it is going to need to happen in person. It’s the way we humans work.

This article was first published on LinkedIn

Naomi Simson

Considered one of Australia’s tech success stories Naomi Simson founded RedBalloon in 2001. From just an idea and persistence redballoon.com.au has now served more than 2.5 million customers.

She has many labels: entrepreneur, speaker, director, mother, author, blogger, innovator and a passionate individual to name a few And now TV personality on Network TEN's Shark Tank – to return for a second season in 2016. She is committed to making the world a happier place, and does so via her blogging, having written more than 900 posts at naomisimson.com since 2006 (which attracts 100,000 visits a year). Naomi is a LinkedIn Influencer with over 1 million followers, and a much sought after speaker. Her most recent book “Live what you Love” is a best seller.

Naomi is a Director of SaaS Redii.com, a business she is incredibly passionate about that is doing great things for the future of workplaces in Australia and globally.

Twitter: @NaomiSimson

Website: naomisimson.com/
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