3 Tips to Keep a Conversation Going

Establishing and maintaining a conversation is essential for the smooth progress of negotiations, to submit a proposal, gather information and so many other needs of the day-to-day professional and personal life.

For many people it is a natural ability, a talent that facilitates the development of skills related to communication. For many others, keeping the conversation flowing to establish empathy to the point where the common interest can be found and treated appropriately (in situations where you do not wish to go directly to it, of course) is a constant challenge that requires attention and special techniques until it is internalized and turn something natural, ready to be put into practice when an important conversation opportunity arises unexpectedly.

There are no set rules, but how to keep a conversation going is similar in both the conversation in the hallway at the firm, at the bar table, as the beginning of a business lunch: both parties need to be aware, adding elements continuously, following towards your goal but without disregarding what they hear, or put the other person in a situation that block proceeding towards the common interest.

Knowing techniques that facilitate the process is interesting and may lead to improved communications, and thus separated the following 3 tips that help to the flow of conversation and hence good relationship

1. Say Yes. Even if you consider that there are errors in what was said, if your interest is to keep the conversation flowing (to later be able to return to this point in a more positive approach), reject the temptation to deny or correct (which leads to another person to sit back, close the face and begin to defend themselves, and not the continuation of the progress), and try to find something positive to say next, focusing on commonalities and related to what was said – but careful not to confirm unwittingly that agree with the point that you reject.

2. Add something. Do not stop the Yes, say “Yes, and …” and then add a new element to the discussion. A favorable example, a case that confirm your point of view, a curious exception, a hypothesis, a question … does not matter. A conversation that flows is not a strict protocol in which a party has and the other confirms or denies, but a solid construction in which both parties add elements that individually do not have to be relevant (or curious, funny, etc.), but lead to the point that seeks to discuss.

3. Ask least, affirm more. A healthy conversation is not an interrogation, and while you are creating the conditions to reach the objective of the negotiations is positive avoid asking direct questions that force a person to expose something specific or literally run away from a question who prefer not to answer right now. For facts, an alternative is to start telling something about their own situation, and then add your question broadly, “what you there, they deal with it?”

An important addition to the three rules above is essential for anyone who feels insecure in talks without formal structure: as well on stage as in the dialogues, there is no right unified way forward, and people who talk naturally treat any errors and difficulties communication as a subject over, using them as an opportunity to enrich and make more personal conversation, is your opinion?” If it is turned off in conversation, probably cannot answer.