Expand Your Knowledge

Things emotionally intelligent people do to create powerful conversations

1. Don't multitask
 You need to do more than just turn off your phone
 It involves being fully present in that moment
 Don't think about yesterday or what you'll do tonight, or what you should say next
 You can either fully listen to the person or leave the conversation

2. Don't preach
 Conversations aren't blogs where you state your opinion without comments from others
 Assume you have something to learn in every conversation
 The best way to truly listen to someone is to set yourself aside and listen as if they know something you do not

3. Use open-ended questions
 Start your questions with: Who, Why, What, When, Where or How
 If you ask, "were you terrified?" you will receive a one-word answer
 If you ask, "what was that like?" you will get a thoughtful, meaningful answer

4. Go with the flow
 There will be thoughts that pop into your head; your job is to let them go
 There is no need to say everything that comes to mind, and you do not need to wait for "just the right time"
 Let your thoughts come and go without judgment

5. If you don't know, say it
 This principle is straightforward
 Be very careful talking about things that you're not an expert at
 It is better to err on the side of caution
 Pretend you'll be on the record and held accountable for your words
 Don't make things up

6. Don't equate your experience with theirs
 If they talk about losing a loved one, don't talk about when your mom died
 If they're discussing their problems, don't discuss your own issues
 It is not always about you, so avoid bringing the conversation back to you

7. Don't repeat yourself
 Repetition is condescending and boring
 People usually do this when they have a point to make, and they say it repeatedly
 Don't do that
 It's not enjoyable for anyone

8. Stay out of the weeds
 People don't care about the years, names, dates, and times you struggle to remember
 They care about you, what you're like, what you have in common, and how you feel, not every minor detail
 Leave them out; the conversation will be much more enjoyable

9. Listen
 Listening is the number one skill you can learn
 But listening is hard
 We would rather talk
 Talking is easy; we're in control and the center of attention
 It takes effort to pay attention to someone
 But if you're not, then you're not having a conversation

10. Be interested
 Be interested in others
 Keep your mouth shut as often as you can, and keep your mind open as much as you can
 When you talk to someone, be prepared to be amazed
 They have something unique, strange, or fun about them; you just have to let them share it