Conversation Etiquette 101
In today’s competitive business world it takes more than expensive clothes and a pleasant personality to be successful; it is also how you present yourself.
Make a wrong remark during a conversation and you could ruin your business and social position within certain social circles.Ever wonder why you were not invited to an event?
Your conversation etiquette in meeting and social setting, especially those that include important business partners or high profile personalities, could determine if you are invited back or banned from future events. 8 Topics That Will Kill a Conversation: What not to say during a conversation."One of the best rules in conversation is, never to say a thing which any of the company can reasonably wish had been left unsaid.
” Jonathan Swift
So, what can you do to avoid putting your foot in your mouth?
- Politics-Talking about politics is always a touch subject. Some people are very passionate about their political views. If you don’t agree with something that has been said, just acknowledge what has been shared by nodding .
- Health-People really do not what to hear about your latest surgery. Sharing too much bad news can bring the conversation down.
- The cost of things-Ever been around someone and all the talked about was how much they paid for their car, house. Don’t ask and don’t tell.
- Personal question-Don’t ask questions such as “How much money do you make?” Or “When do you plan to have children.”
- Don’t gossip-When you gossip you destroy your creditability and trust with the group.
- Your boss/or job-You never know who knows whom.
- Off-color jokes-I tried to justify this by saying, “If you are with close friends and you all share the same views; however, I cannot. It is never acceptable to joke about another' s weight, religion, racial heritage, physical limitations, or make any remark that will hurt another person.
- Doom and gloom-People hear enough bad news, all one has to do is turn on the TV. If you want to draw people to you, be happy and optimistic.
Learn the art of small talk. Definition of small talk: n. polite conversation about matter of little Importance, especially between people who do not know each other well. Encarta World Dictionary.
Small talk is not profound or deep conversation. Small talk is casual conversation. Practice these tips to improve your small talk ability:
- Be well informed-Read the news paper, Keep up with current events, locally, nationally, and internationally. Watch interesting documentaries on TV.
- Don’t interrupt-Interrupting a person’s conversation is very rude. People could see you as being argumentative.
- Focus on the other person-Use the others persons name during the convection. Pay attention to what they say, the other person will say something you can comment on. They may share their love for a certain sport, or a movie or book they’ve read.
- Maintain eye contact-Eye contact shows you are interested in what the other person is saying.
Grace and Charm Insight: Always close a conversation before walking away form the other person. You can say, “It was a pleasure speaking with you, and I hope we meet again.”
- Ask for their advice-Keep the topic light. You may ask their advice or opinion on a new restaurant, or play.
- Don’t give advice-Give advice only if the other person asks. It is best to hold off giving advice on personal matters, even if asked.
- Think before you speak-There have been more times than I care to admit, when I should have not said one word.
- Always apologize if you say the wrong thing, or even is what you have said is misinterpreted. People will respect you more.
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