18 days since the last blogpost here. It was not my intention but not having the Internet at home could be a real problem, and this can happen even in London.
Anyway, I used the time for more communication in the real world which is one of my resolutions for June.
A few thoughts on that: the biggest question for me is what can I talk about with another people?
I remember as a child at some point I started asking myself how my parents can spend an evening with their guests talking. What are they talking about?
Later I asked myself the same: what to talk about with my classmates, or mutual friends, or at parties? It was difficult for me to find a topic, especially in a group of more than four people.
Funny enough, at the same time I was quite good at debating and at the literature, and my mum kept told me that I am a good speaker. I thought this is strange.
The book which helped me a lot was “How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie. There are plenty of advice and interesting examples in the book, but the most useful one is about interest: being interested in people is the secret to win their trust and become friends. The interest should be a real interest, not just a pose, and this is the tricky part of the advice.
What I’ve tried the last days in my conversations, is to ask the other person questions: starting with the weather (in the UK this is a good way of starting a chat), then the last activities – for example how the weekend was, or the plans for the weekend. The answer to this question give a good advice what this person like: cycling or reading, going out and having guests for dinner, etc., and after that, I could ask more detailed about this subject.
In conversations with professionals, it is a little bit easier because I could ask about the job, current projects, what kind of architecture they do and they like, etc.talk
The point is — let the other person talk and listen to him/her.
People like speak about themselves and when one can listen, that makes them feel good. This is my impression.
Having a real interest in someone is the tricky part of the story, but I realise that for a small chat I can always find something interesting in every person. It becomes more challenging if one is looking for friends but don’t find the other person interesting. In a situation like this, the best is, to be honest with oneself and watch a friend somewhere else.
Anyway, for business relationships, we don’t need to start a conversation with the idea of friendship in a head. And if the conversation stays fluent over hours, it is probably worth to meet again for a coffee and see if the interest in this person is still alive.
A few examples from my last weeks regarding communication will be posted here in the next days. For now, stay interested and communicative and enjoy the longest day of the year.