6 Tips For Good Conversation

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1. Don't be afraid of conversational taboos. Lots of peo­ple can discuss 'delicate' topics, such as religion and po­litics, without coming to. blows. Vital issues - the kind you feel strongly about often make the best conversations.

2. Don't argue — discuss. The purpose of a conversation is to exchange views and information, not to convert the other person to your particular set of prejudices.

3. Learn to listen. Conversation should have a give-and-take rhythm. Allow your friend to 'speak his piece' without constant interruptions. Pay attention. A ge­nuine interest in the other person's point of view is absolutely essential.

4. Stay with the subject. Do not flit from topic to topic without doing justice to any. Try to explore an issue with reasonable thoroughness. It's much more satis­fying.

5. Say what you think. Don't be afraid to disagree. A certain amount of honest friction heightens interest and establishes mutual respect.

6. Don't panic when there's pause. You don't have torush in to fill every little pocket of silence. Pauses are a necessary part of every good conversation. They do re­fresh — and they provide an opportunity to collect one's thoughts before plunging on.

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