Three Conversation MISTAKES Most People Make (and how to fix)

Ever been in a conversation that dies instantly?

We all have…

It usually goes something like this…

 

  • Joe: Hey, I’m Joe
  • Jane: Nice to meet you, I’m Jane
  • Joe: Pleasure to meet you Jane, so what do you do?
  • Jane: I’m a ______ (insert awesome occupation)
  • Joe: Interesting. Do you like it?
  • Jane: Yes, it’s great! It’s what I dreamed of doing since I was a kid…
  • Joe: Awesome!
  • Jane: ……..
  • Joe: ……..
  • Joe: So… where are you from?
  • Jane: I think I see my friends over there calling me, nice to meet you, bye!

The truth is…

Most conversations don’t make it past small talk for 3 reasons…

 

Reason 1: Emotional Bids are IGNORED

What are emotional bids?

They’re the mechanism we use to transition out of small talk and into connection…

When someone gives an emotional bid, it’s YOUR job to recognize it and respond to it.

So in our scenario above it would look something like this…

 

  • Joe: Hey, I’m Joe
  • Jane: Nice to meet you, I’m Jane
  • Joe: Pleasure to meet you Jane, so what do you do?
  • Jane: I’m a ______ (insert awesome occupation)
  • Joe: Interesting. Do you like it?
  • Jane: Yes, it’s great! It’s what I dreamt of doing since I was a kid…
  • Joe: Impressive! You know only 5% of people end up doing what they dreamt of as a kid? At least that’s the statistic I just made up because it sounds right…I think it’s awesome you’re living your childhood dream. My childhood dream was to be a superhero, didn’t really work out…unless you count adopting a dog as heroic…not saying I’m a hero or anything…
  • Jane: OMG – I love dogs…what kind of dog do you have?

 

When Joe responds to her emotional bid of her accomplishing her childhood dream, he’s saying “I hear you”.

Now a connection is formed and she’s engaged in the conversation.

Most people don’t know what emotional bids look like, or they’re too “in their head” thinking about what they’re going to say next that they completely miss the opportunity to have a conversation.

Reason 2. A Conversation Becomes An Interrogation

Most conversations go like so…

  • Person 1: Question
  • Person 2: Answer
  • Person 1: Question
  • Person 2: Answer
  • Person 1: Question
  • Person 2: Answer
  • Person 1: Question…
  • Person 2: I’m tired of answering questions…bye!

 

Nobody likes being interrogated

Our 3-Step Conversation Formula goes like this:

  • Person 1: Question
  • Person 2: Answer
  • Person 1: Statement
  • Connection

 

So after you ask a question, actually LISTEN and make a statement about their answer. It will feel unnatural at first because you’re making a statement without them asking you about it.

But what you’re doing is sharing something personal that allows them to take the conversation deeper or connect with you.

You can see the formula at work with our Joe/Jane example:

 

  • Question: Joe: Wow, so cool. Do you like it?
  • Answer: Jane: Yes, it’s great! It’s what I dreamt of doing since I was a kid.
  • Statement: Joe: Impressive! You know only 5% of people end up doing what they dreamt of as a kid? At least that’s the statistic I just made up because it sounds right. I think it’s awesome you’re living your childhood dream. My childhood dream was to be a superhero, didn’t really work out…unless you count adopting a dog as heroic…not saying I’m a hero or anything.
  • Connection: Jane: OMG – I love dogs. What kind of dog do you have?

 

Reason 3: Trying To Remember A “Script”, Rather Than LISTENING and Responding

This is a BIG one.

Most people are “in their head” when having a conversation. They’re physically there, but mentally thinking about what to say next.

This opens the door to blind spots and missed opportunities to connect.

There are 5 levels of listening.

I won’t go into all 5 here, but we did an amazing podcast episode with Oscar Trimboli on them.

Click HERE to listen to it

(Hint: 86% of people zero in on the WRONG one)

So let’s recap:

90% of conversations FAIL in the first 90 seconds because:

  • Emotional bids Are Ignored
  • You’re interrogating someone (or being interrogated)
  • You’re not listening, you’re waiting to say something premeditated

 

If you can fix even ONE of these things, I guarantee your conversations will go smoother.

But I know, easier said than done.

It takes practice!

P.S. The 3 conversation mistakes mentioned above are pulled directly from our brand new course, Charismatic Conversations. This course is 100% science-backed and proven to help you connect with anyone and have winning conversations. It will be launching this month, so stay tuned 🙂

AJ Harbinger - author of 1050 posts on The Art of Charm

AJ Harbinger is one of the world’s top relationship development experts. His company, The Art of Charm, is a leading training facility for top performers that want to overcome social anxiety, develop social capital and build relationships of the highest quality. Raised by a single father, AJ felt a strong desire to learn about relationships and the elements that make them successful. However, this interest went largely untapped for many years. Following the path set out for him by his family, AJ studied biology in college and went on to pursue a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology at the University of Michigan. It was at this time that he began to feel immense pressure from the cancer lab he worked in and began to explore other outlets for expression. It was at this point that The Art of Charm Podcast was born.

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