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December 13, 2012

Quality conversations enhance communication

LAKE OCONEE — Good communication can be a challenge. Conversation is one of the main forms of communication. Are you aware of your conversational style? Might you be guilty of conversation blunders?

I came across an article by Rich Santos in which he describes conversational types that need correction to enhance quality communication. I would like to share a few of them with you and add my own embellishment. See if you recognize yourself or someone else familiar to you.

  1. Conversational Hijacker (CH) : A person shares something with the CH and the CH takes over without really listening to you or commenting on what you said. The CH wants you to listen to him/her. The CH takes over and dominates. A conversational imbalance results.
  2. Eye contact style: Some people continually stare a hole through you as you converse; others barely look at you or in your eyes. Eye contact should have an easy rhythm to it.
  3. Ghost Listener (GL): This person continually asks you to repeat what you said. The GL is not really into you or interested in what you have to say. The GL’s mind is someplace else but periodically re-connects by asking you to repeat what you said.
  4. Tasteless Jokester (TJ): The TJ just has to be heard and resorts to tacky tasteless jokes to get attention. The TJ is boorish.
  5. Shameless Self Promoter (SSP): The SSP is a me, me, me person. SSP’s take over and talk about themselves ad nauseam. An SSP does not ask about the other person’s world. Again a conversational imbalance results.
  6. Negative Person (NP): The NP finds something negative or wrong about most everything. The NP sucks the positive energy out of a conversation. A conversation with an NP invites the listener to find an excuse to move away.
  7. Dead-end Answerer (DA): The DA answers with a yes or a no or a single sentence. This illustrates that the DA has no personality or is detached and wants to get out of the conversation. Conversation with a DA is going nowhere. Exit .
  8. Word Machine (WM): The WM talks and talks and talks and/or questions and questions and questions. The WM is exhausting and draining.
  9. Vacuous Person (VP): The VP is shallow. The VP is not informed or interesting. Conversation is very boring with a VP.
  10. Pseudo Intellectual Person (SIP): The SIP is a conversational snob, above it all. The SIP tends to be condescending, sometimes belittling. The SIP needs to be one up on the conversational partner.

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