Celeste Headlee lays it out clearly in her excellent TED Talk.
- Don’t multitask. Be present in the moment.
- Don’t pontificate. Keep those opinions to yourself, and be prepared to learn from others.
- Use open-ended questions. Instead of “were you angry?”, try “how did you feel?”.
- Go with the flow. Don’t let your mind wander trying to think of interesting things to say.
- If you don’t know, say that you don’t know. Speaks for itself.
- Don’t equate your experience with theirs. Every experience is unique. Instead of trying to relate, let it be about the other person.
- Try not to repeat yourself. Just don’t repeat yourself.
- Stay out of the weeds. People don’t care about the details. They care about you.
- Listen. It’s critical. Close your mouth and listen up.
- Be brief.
10 Ways to Have Better Conversation | Celeste Headlee / TED Talks