Monday, June 29, 2015


Blog by +Wanda Dorn       #wandascafe         

10 Mistakes Professionals make 
During Conversational Small Talk 

In the corporate arena it's not only what you say it's how you say it

Here are 10 Important tips on how to be a good conversationalist

65% of our communication is non-verbal, and only 35% is verbal.

    Wanda Dorn
    Chief Facilitator
1.  Watch your body language or what might be referred to as your non-verbal communications, which can be gestures, facial expressions, posture, or body movements.

2.  Take the words "I", "me", "my", and "mine" out of your conversations and replace them with "you", "we", "ours", and "yours" .  When talking with others get them to talk about themselves.  Everybody wants to be somebody, the more important you make people feel, the more they will identify with you.

3.  Don't allow others to continue making disparaging remarks about others.  You should take the lead and defend that person by saying, for instance "That may not be quite true...",  or "While what you said may be true, but I would  prefer to change the subject."

    4.  Listening is probably the most important thing to remember in conversation, and probably the most difficult to adhere to. When you are really listening to what the other person is saying, you can't be creating or rehearsing to yourself what you are going to say back to them in response.  

    Be a good listener, it will win friends and influence people. There is the adage that says "We were given two ears and one mouth so that we may listen twice as much and speak twice as less."   

    5.  Voltaire said the secret to being a major bore in conversation is "telling everything"!  Very important: "Your personal life or personal problems" or "others personal life or problems" should not be the topic of a conversation in the professional world, and it is not a subject for casual conversation among friends either.   

    Telling your business sometimes means telling a friend's business as well.  I often repeat this phrase to my clients in my training classes, "Learn to play your cards close to the chest".

    6.  Discussing a "no - no" subject in a careless and forceful manner shows a lack of class.  

    Avoid subjects that are depressing.

      I don't have to say this to most of you because we've all heard it before:  The subjects of "religion", "politics", "race", and "economics" should not be discussed in the professional environment, and they are sensitive subjects for discussion in  the social arena.  Leave these subjects for corporate meetings where these subjects have been placed as an item on the agenda up for discussion in a controlled environment. 

      7.  Don't just talk to be talking.  make sure what you are about to say is pertinent to the conversation.  If you find yourself talking to be talking, it might be necessary for you to change the conversation.

      8.  Don't ask personal questions, not even among friends.

      9.  Don't be jealous!  Work to take jealousy out your codes of behavior.  Black women, we are familiar with the term "crab syndrome".  Why should you envy your sister's success.  Be proud of others' achievements.  I have a blog entitled: The Ten Commandments of Forty:  The Things You Should Do Before You're Forty".   If you feel you should compliment someone, go ahead and compliment them.  If you feel you should thank someone, thank them.

      Watch for chances to help your sister;  I think the reason behind the crab syndrome is many of us have never been the boss or CEO.  There is no way to know how it feels and what effect jealousy has on the workplace until you have walked a mile in your own mover-and-shaker shoes.  Most of us have never owned our own company and don't realize the struggle small business owners encounter.... a blog for another day!

      10.  Don't disagree with others by being disagreeable.  We know Martin Luther King said we can all disagree without being disagreeable.  

      Don't try to argue a point, or clarify the point.  Never say "you're wrong".   You can say "I understand your position, but let me just add"... etc.  You can't win friends and influence people when you call them out for being wrong.

      The hardest thing for us to do is to admit when we are wrong.  Here is where you should go ahead and apologize by simply saying something like, "I think I was wrong"... or "I was wrong",.. or "I made a mistake"

      Click the FOLLOW button if you would like to read my latest blogs from my "Etiquette Codes of Behavior" Seminars in the areas of Etiquette, Diversity, and Culture.  Read my blog:  "The Ten Commandments of Forty:  The Things You Should Do Before You're Forty"
      Visit my website at:  http:///

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