Back to Basics

chalkFrom one matchmaker to another: “One of my personal clients is very much in need of conversation tips on dates. He is extremely nervous meeting new women and has had a lot of disappointment in his personal life. I’ve been working with him for almost a year now and have given him some conversation starters, but he is asking for more! Do you have any suggestions I may be able to pass his way?”

The greatest compliment you can give someone is your undivided attention. Let me repeat that…The greatest compliment you can give someone is your undivided attention!

It’s not always about conversation starters and what you say it should be more about how well you listen. When we are little we are told to use our listening ears but as adults no one ever reminds us of this. Limit your own talking and when you do talk, talk to express, not impress. Remember you can’t talk and listen at the same time. Above all, don’t interrupt.

People want someone to listen. They will open up to you on non threatening topics such as work, children or interests. These topics are great conversation starters when you ask open ended questions. This just means phrasing a question in such a way that it cannot be answered with one word like “yes” or “no”. You should be listening for ideas, not just words. You want to get the whole picture, not just bits and pieces.

Being a good listener means you have to “sum it all up.” Simply repeat back to someone what they just said in the short version. It lets them know you heard and understood what they said. Use acknowledgments to let the other person know you are really listening to what they are saying, for example “yes”, “I understand”, “I see”, “I know”, “I agree”. Keep the conversation going with “and”, “hhhmmm”, “then what”, “really”…

As you ask questions, really listen to their answers; both what they say verbally and what they don’t say in their pauses and tone of voice. Watch body language and be sure the person is open to the discussion at hand. A person’s unconscious communication can be very revealing!

Don’t get stuck with why your past relationships didn’t work out or why he was a jerk and she was crazy. If the other person goes there, just politely redirect by asking another question about a different topic. Stay away from complaining. No one likes to deal with a complainer. Keep it light hearted and fun.

Most importantly be confident. There is nothing more sexy then a confident man!

Being single and dating doesn’t have to be difficult.  So what have we learned today? The greatest compliment you can give someone is your undivided attention!



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3 Responses to “Back to Basics”

  1. Trishy

    I always think “Oh I’d love to talk to that guy over there…” But how?
    It’s hard to just approach someone with “hi I’m so-and-so, and you are….?”
    I would suggest get close to the person, and wait for something funny to happen, and turn and say something about it, as if you would someone in back of you in line, or next to you in a game or concert.
    Or comment on a necklace, article of clothing, etc. to get a conversation going.
    Moving closer to the person and then talking after standing there for a little bit takes the edge off and makes it less uncomfortable for both parties.

  2. tamaloo

    life is the name of to live in the pains of others……..with my sweet chocolate emotions….TAMALOO……….

  3. Tony @ mma gear

    You are absolutely correct, “people want someone to listen”. I used to worry about conversation topics but really its all about listening to the other person and responding accordingly. The conversation becomes more natural this way and I am more relaxed, that it actually becomes enjoyable to REALLY listen and ask questions for more effective communication. Thanks for this article, definitely some good insight here. :)
    .-= Tony @ mma gear´s last blog ..Manto Pro 2009 MMA Shorts =-.

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