Having a conversation is a piece of cake because we all have been having conversations since we learnt how to talk. Wrong.
Of course we all know how to have conversations but only a few of us know how to have meaningful conversations. This is because we have certain bad habits. We tend to get distracted with ease and completely go off topic just two minutes into the conversation. The resultant is a waste of time.
Thankfully, there is a way out:
What is the Point?
Ask yourself why exactly you are having the conversation. Every single conversation, informal or formal, has a point. For example, the point of having a conversation with your friends is to have some fun and to enjoy. Similarly the point of having a business conversation may be varied. It is important to understand that point beforehand so that you start the conversation with a focused mind.
Chinese call this the Monkey Mind. We all have the Monkey Mind. It jumps from one thought to the other in seconds and does not let you focus on the conversation. You should do your best to ignore it so that you are one hundred percent present and there will be no miscommunication.
Once the other person stops speaking you should acknowledge everything that you have heard. Repeating the gist will help you in two ways: the other person will be reassured that you were actually listening and not thinking about something else, and in case you misunderstood something, he or she will have a chance to clear it.
This is the last step. It is important that you think about what the other person said and then respond in kind. Your response should obviously be just as meaningful. It could be a statement or a question depending on your conversation. It should, however, strictly adhere to the topic so that your meaning is served.
Basically, your job is to identify, listen, acknowledge, and then respond in order to bring meaning to a conversation.
Bring meaning to all your business conversation even if the point of it is just introduction. That will help you save time and reap fruit from the conversations you have. It may seem difficult at first but paying attention, thinking, and then responding in kind will definitely help you make the most out of every conversation that you have.