Lange International

Tips and Insights

from Lange’s Communication Thought Leaders

What Do Mini-Skirts and Good Conversations Have in Common?

By Kirsten Smith

Do you want to have better conversations? Check out NPR interviewer Celeste Headlee’s entertaining and practical tips above. My favorite? “A good conversation is like a miniskirt—short enough to retain interest but long enough to cover the subject.”

At Lange International, we believe that every communication moment matters. In this TED Talk, Headlee shares 10 tips for developing your conversational competence—a skill that doesn’t come naturally to many people. Want a sneak peek? A few that resonate most with me are:

#1—Don’t multi-task, be present. Being connected via devices isn’t the same thing as being connected to another human being. That only happens when you focus on them and what they are saying, and minimize distractions.

#2—Don’t pontificate. Enter every conversation assuming you have something to learn. Keep a visual reminder for yourself to cue your brain—I have a Curious George on my desk to remind myself to be curious in every conversation. 

#9—Listen. Truly listen. Listen with the intent to understand, not the intent to respond. What might you miss if you are focusing on formulating the answer to a question or coming up with a great next thing to say?

 After you watch this, ask yourself... when was the last conversation you had that was really a conversation? A back and forth, some talking, and a lot of listening? If one doesn’t come to mind, try these tips and let us know what impact it has.  

Lexie BanksComment