Social Mistake #1: Not Knowing What To Say
When 95% of people have a conversation they tend to come up empty when the conversational ball is hit to them.
Guy: "...so then I knew I wanted to become a teacher."
You: "Er...umm....that's cool."
(The crowd boos and starts throwing batteries on the field.)
Why do we screw this up more times than we knock it out of the park.
Because we aren't listening!
We are trapped inside of our own heads, listening to our own inner voice, trying to think of the perfect thing to say.
The Cure: Observation & Open Questions
The following method was inspired by Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You To Be Rich (I met him at BehaviorCon in August)
I call it the O&OQ Method, and if it sounds like I just made up that name, it's because I did. (But psychologically, you're more likely to remember it now, HA!)
Simply put here is the O&OQ Method:
The O&OQ Method assumes you know the difference between OPEN and CLOSED questions. (If you don't, go here.)
Here is an example of O&OQ in action compared to someone sucking at life:
Social Mistake #2: Rambling (or killing someone's Will To Live)
This second social mistake is something that more of you are guilty of than you think. If you're sitting there reading this and you say "Pssh, I don't ramble." You probably do.
Call up three honest friends and ask them if you sometimes talk longer than necessary. If that thought scares you, then you may have just realized that you ramble.
Ramblers will monopolize people's ears, and generally make them want to kill themselves so that they can get away from the conversation. The worst part is most people don't even know they ramble.
The Cure: Make Long, Boring Stories Short And Great
My client and I addressed his rambling by making his long and drawn out stories short and awesome.
Here's another good/bad example:
It was beautiful, now he has a fantastic story that is short and sweet.
The big key was saying "...and this ONE crazy thing happened." It's like putting a child proof lock on a motorboat. It effectively limited him to just telling ONE story.
What stories are you telling more than once? Notice at what point in those stories your conversation partner's eyes start to drop, they start scanning the room, or they check their phone. That's when you've lost them.
Great storytellers edit their stories until they can't take out anything more or they'll destroy the story, you should do the same.
End all conversations FIRST (for one week)
This one will probably be difficult for most of you.
For one week end all conversations FIRST. Just smile and say "It was great talking with you." and gauge their reaction.
Are they relieved?
Do they want to keep talking?
If you were a rambler, this will fix it.
After a week, you'll be able to tell when they want to continue the conversation, and you can always slide back in by saying "Oh, one more thing..."
My Challenge to you...
What is one way you plan to use the O&OQ Method in the next week to have a great conversation with someone?
Let me know in the comments...
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