Have More Meaningful Exchanges

Conversation is the currency of everyday business. Whether you’re engaging in small talk before a meeting or providing an in-depth discussion at a networking event, the right conversation at the right time can lead to a fresh idea, a new friendship or a long-lasting business relationship.

Here are five ways to have more meaningful conversations:

1. Think big for small talk.

If you?re ever at a loss for words at a party, remember that two of the most popular topics of conversation are food and travel.

Nearly everyone has a favorite restaurant or has traveled or wishes to travel to a specific location. Start with a inviting question that encourages someone to be expansive like ?Are you going somewhere exciting during the holidays?? or ?Can you recommend a great restaurant in the area??

Then sit back and listen. Don?t be surprised if you discover that you have something in common with the other person.

2. Be an active listener.

The best way to establish communication in most professional and personal situations is by practicing empathic listening, paying attention not only with your ears but with your eyes and heart.

Put yourself in the other person?s situation and ask, ?How would I feel if this were happening to me?? This is something everyone is capable of but few people go to this level when listening.

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