Celeste Headlee on 10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation (Full Transcript)

You have to listen to one another. Stephen Covey said it very beautifully. He said, “Most of us don’t listen with the intent to understand. We listen with the intent to reply.”

One more rule, number 10, and it’s this one: Be brief.

[A good conversation is like a miniskirt; short enough to retain interest, but long enough to cover the subject. — My Sister]

All of this boils down to the same basic concept, and it is this one: Be interested in other people. You know, I grew up with a very famous grandfather, and there was kind of a ritual in my home. People would come over to talk to my grandparents, and after they would leave, my mother would come over to us, and she’d say, “Do you know who that was? She was the runner-up to Miss America. He was the mayor of Sacramento. She won a Pulitzer Prize. He’s a Russian ballet dancer.” And I kind of grew up assuming everyone has some hidden, amazing thing about them. And honestly, I think it’s what makes me a better host. I keep my mouth shut as often as I possibly can, I keep my mind open, and I’m always prepared to be amazed, and I’m never disappointed.

You do the same thing. Go out, talk to people, listen to people, and, most importantly, be prepared to be amazed.

Thanks.

 

Resources for Further Reading:

How to Lead a Conversation Between People Who Disagree: Eve Pearlman (Transcript)

How I Turn Negative Online Comments into Positive Offline Conversations: Dylan Marron (Transcript)

The Science of Analyzing Conversations, Second by Second: Elizabeth Stokoe (Transcript)

Robb Willer: How to Fix Our Broken Political Conversations at TEDxMarin (Transcript)

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