The modern world faces a crisis of human disconnection: people love to point fingers at technology, blaming our digital devices and extensions as the CAUSE of our lack of fulfilment in our social interactions… but really, what it comes down to is CONVERSATION.
Yep. That’s right. Conversation.
And yet, despite the face we’ve been having conversations since language began, technology makes it far too easy to invest time and energy elsewhere. As a result, we end up feeling lonely. When we converse, we tend to treat it like a transaction. We aren’t PRESENT.
We are waiting for the other person to finish so we can share our story. We use people as mirrors, overlooking whose there in front of us (same goes for behind a screen). So how to keep a conversation going in a way that continues to provide real value and fulfilment for each person involved? Skip the small talk, or at least keep it to a minimum. Instead, spend the majority of the time engaging in and asking interesting, thought provoking, deep-diving questions.
Questions are the KEY to keeping a conversation going.
As cliché as this may sound, interesting people are interesting because they are interested in other people. Approaching a conversation with an open mind and a genuine feeling of curiosity in the other person will set you up for a fulfilling interaction.
If the conversation feels like it is coming to a dead end, change the topic. Have a topic bank stored in your mind that you are ready to withdraw from at any given moment. A few examples of questions are: what is the biggest obstacle you are facing right now? What are you most proud of? What is something about your job most people don’t know?
Whether digital or in real-life, authentic human connection can be made; rapport can be built; relationships can be formed, whether romantic, friendship, professional, etc. How does this happen? Through meaningful, fulfilling, captivating, conversation.