The Art of Conversation

“We need to talk. When did this become a threat rather than a statement of fact?”What an interesting opening statement. Yes, since when this “we need to talk” sentence become something we are so afraid of? My friend, Eben lent me this book Art of Conversation awhile ago, almost a year perhaps, but I just never really gotten a time to really read through it. Now that he asked for it back, I thought I need to read it before he asks me what it’s all about! So here goes some keypoints that I found interesting and my comments in italics.– Conversations is an art as well as a social duty and it is something worth striving to be good at. Good talkers get dates, win contracts. Entertain, not dominate.- The irony of this communication age is that we communicate LESS meaningfully. Communication tools may bring us together but equally they keep us apart.- Silence breeds suspicion, anger, and violence.- Attention x Interest = Conversation = Joy- Three principles: generousity, openness, and clarity.- Five maxims: think before you speak, listen more than you speak, find the incentive for talking, never assume you know what they mean or that they understand you, take turns.- Greeting is the most important impression. So here are some rules around greetings:1) Rule one: greetings spark connections2) Rule two: charms to open minds and doors. You can give someone the wrong signal that you’re uninterested.3) Rule three: no need for uber flashy out-of-the-world greeting4) Rule four: smiling is a confidence trick5) Rule five: eyes make contacts. 


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