When your job hinges on how well you talk to people, you learn a lot about how to have conversations — and that most of us don’t converse very well. Celeste Headlee has worked as a radio host for decades, and she knows the ingredients of a great conversation: Honesty, brevity, clarity and a healthy amount of listening. In this insightful talk, she shares 10 useful rules for having better conversations. “Go out, talk to people, listen to people,” she says. “And, most importantly, be prepared to be amazed.”

Choose one of the 10 rules and master it.

10 ways to have a better conversation – Celeste Headlee

M Scott Peck ‘true listening requires setting aside oneself’

  1. Don’t multi-task. Be present.
  2. Don’t pontificate.
  3. Use open questions. Use not complex ones.
  4. Go with the flow. Don’t be already speaking as we stop listening
  5. If don’t know say don’t know.
  6. Don’t equate their experience with theirs. All experiences are individual. Not about you.
  7. Don’t repeat oneself
  8. Stay out of the weeds – lose the detail.
  9. Listen – most important – takes energy to listen. Stephen Covey ‘ Most of us don’t listen with the intent to understand, we listen with the intent to reply’.
  10. Be brief  ‘A good conversation is like a mini skirt, short enough to retain interest, but long enough to cover the subject’. – Celeste Headlee’s sister

Be prepared to be amazed at what happens. What might you notice? What might others notice about you?