If you want to become a conversationalist, then ask open questions to encourage dialogue!
- This article will make the case that communication skills can help you in both your personal life and in your career.
- There are examples of how to initiate great dialogue.
- The highlight of the article is a video by Carson Evans that actually demonstrates how to be a conversation starter!
Are Your Questions Open?
Imagine that a friend of yours has just returned after a trip. We all know people love to talk about travel. You may want to ask open ended questions like “How was your vacation?” This kicks off the conversation and gives you a chance to listen. You could have asked “when did you get back?” and that would be a closed question. A closed question may yield short answers that stifle discussion.
If your friend or acquaintance answers you with “We went to the Bahamas!” then you can tell by the response if it was a positive experience. If they answer in a negative or down way, leave it alone. You should change the subject to another topic. If your buddy sounds excited about the trip, then you can ask follow-up questions like ‘how was the food?’ or “what was the best part of your trip?” These back and forth discussions create dialogue – or two way conversation.
Be A Conversation Starter!
The same skills that build personal relationships can also help you make money in business. In the words of Carson Evans “Great conversations begin with open questions.” The following video is from Carson’s senior year at Western Carolina University where she demonstrates how to effectively ask open ended questions. Carson took on a honors project under the direction of Dr. Julie Johnson. If you watch this video, you will see exactly how to be a conversation starter!