What skills do I need to have a successful conversation?
- break the ice i.e. initiate a conversation with someone you have never met before or who you only know superficially
- embark on safe topics
- carry forward the conversation i.e. allow the conversation to move forward in a logical and friendly manner with no long silences
- take turns in talking i.e. never dominate the conversation
- get the other person to feel important by encouraging them to talk about themselves
- listen carefully
- collaborate with their interlocutor to fill silences by referring back to something that was said earlier
- react sensitively to what is being said
- contribute and make the right comments / noises when someone is telling a story
- know when and how to end a social interaction
Your aim is to create an interpersonal bond, which you can then exploit in your business relations. When speaking in another language we tend to forget the social skills that we have in our own language. However, these skills are imperative for successful business and social encounters.