How do I stop dominating conversations

Successful conversation: rules, techniques, questions

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The ideal situation is exciting and stimulating conversations in which information is willingly exchanged and opinions are discussed openly. In practice, however, it often looks like this: There is no way of conducting a conversation, instead there is righteousness, embarrassed silence, an unpleasant atmosphere and misunderstandings. Having a good conversation in which everyone is comfortable is not that easy. Successful conversation is a fine art. But also a learnable one. And the prerequisite for this - theoretically - everyone has: real interest in their counterpart ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Basics of interviewing

Only when we treat our interlocutor with respect and on an equal footing does he get the impression that he is on the same wavelength and feels understood. That is of course easier to write than to implement. In fact, the opposite often happens in conversations: we feel ignored, misunderstood, manipulated. The (real) dialogue is usually over quickly. The two most important basics of interviewing are therefore understanding and leading - in this order (see graphic):

Successful conversation: 11 rules & techniques

Whether for an interview, a negotiation with a business partner or an appointment with a customer - there are plenty of times in which a good conversation is an advantage. Successful conversation enables you to make contacts faster, get better information or pursue your goals more easily. You should avoid the above-mentioned sources of error as much as possible and avoid other faux pas. To ensure that this succeeds, we will show you 11 practical tips for better conversations:

Come prepared for the conversation

Good preparation is essential for a successful interview. Anyone who has no idea who they are talking to or what the conversation should be about will at most leave a poorly organized impression, but not a conversation to lead can. So take enough time in advance to do appropriate research: Who are you going to speak to? What will be discussed during the conversation? With the right preparation, you can avoid unpleasant surprises and present yourself professionally instead.

Make your goals clear

For example, if you are going to a negotiation or an important customer appointment, you should be clear about what you expect from the conversation. You should use these goals as a guide throughout the entire interview. This enables you to intervene at an early stage, should the conversation develop in the wrong direction or the topic drifts too far into trivialities. Only when you have your goals in mind can you actively pursue them and not leave it to chance.

Have a dialogue

A real one. A good conversation is not one-sided. And it's up to you to keep the conversation from turning out that way. If you notice that you have only been talking about yourself and yourself for some time, please give the other person the chance to have their say - or ask questions (you can also find good introductory questions on warming up and loosening up in this free PDF to download). It works the other way around, of course: If you have the feeling that you are hardly contributing to the conversation, take action and get involved. A monologue can only become a dialogue if both sides contribute.

Ask the right questions

You can steer every conversation with clever questions, because whoever asks is already conducting. (Follow-up) questions can also be used to signal interest in a certain point. And finally, of course, questions also serve their original purpose: They promote the exchange of information and mutual understanding. So use questions as often and specifically as possible when conducting the interview.

Convey credibility

The basis of an honest conversation is always trust. Whether in an interview, a salary negotiation or even during small talk - if you have the feeling that something is being withheld from you or you may be deceived, your distrust will shape the further course of the conversation. You become more careful with what you say and reveal. but so is the case with everyone else. That is why it is important to remain honest and authentic - especially if you want to steer the dialogue.

Get personal

At first glance, this sounds negative and insulting, but it is meant positively: Of course, it's not about attacking your counterpart personally. Rather, you should avoid general phrases and blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah something in the conversation and address your conversation partner personally. It's about putting your counterpart in the center and discovering similarities between the conversation partners. So, really care about him or her - what he or she is saying or feeling right now.

Be open-minded

The colleagues have already reported about the terrible customer, or the supervisor is considered particularly adamant when it comes to salary negotiations. If you enter a conversation with thoughts like this, a closed and reserved atmosphere is likely. It is better for you to get an idea of ​​the person you are talking to. Do not prematurely label someone or pigeonhole them just because others do. If you keep your openness, the other person will also approach you with more openness.

Be respectful

There are rules of conduct for conducting a conversation that you should adhere to so as not to put yourself in a bad light. Even in a heated debate, attacking others is taboo. Try to be calm and friendly and keep reasoning. You can criticize the other person's attitudes or opinions, but not their person. Respectful interaction also includes letting each other finish speaking. Interrupting the other person with “What a nonsense!” Has never led to a better result.

Accept criticism

For a good conversation, it is not a prerequisite that all participants have the same opinion, on the contrary: It can be much more stimulating to get a new perspective - not least to check your own perspective. You should therefore be prepared to accept constructive criticism. Do not see the criticism as an attack, but use the views and insights to either supplement or consolidate your own opinion. You can and should ignore and ignore only destructive criticism and grumbling.

Actively listen

Speaking of hearing: listening is not passive. It's not about just waiting to be able to talk again yourself. Active listening is an important part of conducting a conversation. You can only really understand what is meant if you get involved with what the other person is saying. Active listening includes not only listening to the words but also observing body language. Unconsciously, the person you are speaking to will send signals that you may miss if you switch off instead of concentrating. While you are not saying anything, you can still take part in the conversation: Continue to show through gestures and body language that you are attentive and take the other person seriously.

Summarize what has been said

It is not just a successful end to the conversation when the key points are summarized again. Intermediate results can also be verbalized as a common basis. In negotiations, for example, these can be those points that you have already been able to agree on or, in a customer meeting, the services that your company will provide under what conditions. This prevents misunderstandings that might otherwise have gone undetected.

The 3 most common mistakes in conversations

  • People talk past each other.
    The interlocutors talk a lot, but not with each other. In the end, no one understands what the other is really saying or trying to say. It is like numerous panel discussions: everyone uses their own Airtimeto make HIS position clear. Respond to the other? Nothing. In such a situation, misunderstandings and frustration are only a matter of time.
  • The essential becomes a minor matter.
    Conversations often digress to side tracks or theaters of war - not infrequently because one of the participants runs out of arguments (for example, the argument is more about the “professional” tone than about the content). However, those involved lose sight of the actual topic of the conversation and do not come to the hoped-for result.
  • Prejudices determine the conversation.
    Or to put it another way: Everyone has a point of view, but it is cemented in concrete. Nobody is really ready to question this or even to have it changed. Differences of opinion inevitably lead to conflicts, the discussion is used solely for justifications and accusations. So a tangible dispute is programmed. Unfortunately, most conversations, meetings and online discussions follow this pattern if they are not moderated and the conversations are conducted - both large and small. Conducting a conversation does not, of course, mean taking control of the conversation and dominating it. Rather, it means gentle and subtle steering in the sense of the matter. Even if only in the end to have had a good conversation.

Bonus tip: Postpone the interview

There are discussions that do not lead to the desired success at the first attempt. Before the parties get bogged down in hostility and accusations, you should rather adjourn the conversation and find a new date. This gives everyone the opportunity to rethink what has happened so far, to cool off and to look for a common solution with fresh energy and a better mood.

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