Everyone speaks – but how can you really engage people to listen?
Whether you are engaging employees, coaching clients, stakeholders on a project or customers, engaging is about getting and keeping people’s attention. It’s about giving them something memorable and helping them be and feel their best.
Engagement is a key value of many companies, leaders and others looking to improve their professionalism and communication acumen. Talking to a great conversationalist is like magic–the minutes fly by, your brain lights up, and you feel closely bonded to another human mind. No wonder so many of us want to master the seemingly mysterious ability to get past small talk and really connect.
But unless you’re naturally gifted with charm and wit, even holding up your end of a conversation can feel daunting. Learning not only to be interesting yourself, but also to guide a conversation and bring the best out of others has to be a tough skill that makes years to master, right?
Public radio host Celeste Headlee has interviewed thousands of people from all walks of life in her career, and feels strongly that sparking a great conversation is really a matter of a few simple habits that anyone can learn. She shared her secrets in a TEDx talk a few years back.
1. Don’t multitask. (Really, don’t.)
2. Don’t pontificate.
3. Use open-ended questions.
4. Go with the flow.
5. If you don’t know, say that you don’t know.
6. Don’t equate your experience with theirs.
7. Try not to repeat yourself.
8. Stay out of the weeds.
10. Be brief.
Working to improve your own engagement or that of a group of employees or other stakeholders? Take a deep dive on how to engage with people better than ever before in Elevar Group’s highly interactive professional continuing education course Ideal Engagement available in live webinar or on demand format starting Spring 2023.