May 3, 2011

{Lady Klaar} The Art of Conversation

Two couples from two vastly different walks of life dined together on international waters. On one side of the table sat a couple at the peak of their existence; a doctor and a miltary engineer; parents of 9 year old twins and residents of the Nation's Captial. Caucasian. Republican. Well-traveled. Across the table sat a young couple eager and intrigued by life, a project manager and a teacher; animal lovers and residents of the Sunshine State. African American. Democrats. Optimist. And there they sat, both couples uneasied by the presence of the other. Both not knowing what to say to break the tension. Both wanting to know more about the couple they were seated beside, however, hesistated due to the uncertainties that lie in being different. Then he called over the waiter and the military engineer offered a glass of wine to the project manager and the teacher. Three hours later after the dinning room had cleared and after conversing about several intriguing topics, the two couples exchanged contact information and parted ways. Enlightened. Educated. and Encouraged.


When's the last time you spoke to a stranger? Or maybe the last time you said hello as you passed someone walking on the street? Think about the last time you sparked a conversation with someone about something they had in their grocery basket, despite if you cared a lot or a little? Whether you know it or not, these simple gestures are what get you ahead in life. Your willingness to engage in conversation equates to how successful your life will turn out. I'm well aware of the English idiom: Actions speak louder than words, but if you consider talking an action, which it is, then you need to start SPEAKING UP!

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Many people can attest that it's not what you know that gets you your first job, but WHO you know and what people THINK of you. All of which is configured through spoken word.  Take Layla* for example, since she moved to Washington she's volunteered at the Civic Center every day. Here she's worked with several people in the community, has be acknowledged by many as easy to speak to and a great communicator. Seeking a salaried position, she applied at a non-profit agency and landed the job. However, two weeks after settling in to her new office and becoming familar with the agency, they let her go due to budget cuts. Upon returning to the Civic Center with bad news in tote, someone mentioned her to someone who spoke to someone higher who conferred with the boss who offered her a permanent position at the Mayor's Office. If she never had the courage to volunteer at the Civic Center which lead her to interacting with leaders in the community, she may have never ended up with a permanent position in such a prestigious place.

There is an art to holding a conversation. It's not just simply talking and listening, processing and responding; it also includes educating and persuading an individual with a kiss of charm. Allowing them the opportunity to make a lifetime connection with you in the matter of minutes. Your ability to talk to anyone about any topic in a smooth as silk manner, will confirm that you have mastered how to be a woman. Whether you're on an interview or a date, your conversation should excude self-confidence, intelligence and wittiness.

Pick a situation to try this week:

1. Grocery Store: As your checking out ask the lady in front of you how to make one of the meats in her basket. Then follow up with what sides would you recommend with that? Then go a little further and ask her what's her favorite meal to make? Respond to your last question to make a connection with her. In your best efforts not to pry, ask her what her kids favorite meal is. Then ask her a more endearing question: do you find it hard to make nutritional meals that they enjoy?

2. Yoga Class: Try to position yourself next to someone who seems like a pro. Of course, the first question - How long have you been practicing Yoga; Do you do any other sports? What benefits from practicing have you expereinced? Are there different kinds of yoga? Big Ticket Question: What would you recommend I do to make this a long-term activity.

3. Work Place: Find the friendless associate, you know the "loaner.." So, what's your position? What are you responsible for exactly? *Wow, give a reason why it's amazing* What major did you take up in college/What brought you to ____________? Big Ticket Question: What are you doing later, wanna catch lunch?

If at all else fails:  Ask a question that allows them to talk about themselves. Who wouldn't want to monologue about themselves!! Then follow up with a question that proves your were listening. If they state that they have been on a cruise, ask them WHAT about the cruise did they enjoy. Inquire about the process of booking a cruise. Act like a writing teacher: ask for more details. Be sure to respond here and there and give your input too! Nothing like talking to a brick wall! Be funny, charistmatic, educate and SMILE!




2 comments:

  1. my man is the ultimate conversationalist. Knows SO many people and have gotten favors as well he's done many favors for them. Things that have put both he and I ahead in life. And all because he have a short (or long)conversation with the person. He's all about networking and I told him that if I ever wanted to pursue a career in anything that needed a manager or PR person, he'd DEFINITELY be my first choice.

    Sometimes it takes just a small thing to start something big. I like this post!

    p.s. love the new page design too! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love this post! People underestimate the power of a simple hello. I've met some amazing people by just saying hello!

    Great one!

    Whitney
    www.MyStylishFriends.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

I sincerely appreciate the comments! From one selfless person to another, thank you!