Introduction…Award-winning journalist and author Celest Headlee is the keynote speaker at the Big Ideas in Storage at the Texas Self Storage Association’s Conference on October 19th. CNN voted her the most-watched Ted Talks in 2016.
Q & A With The Author…
Q. How did you become an expert on good communications?
A. While working as the host of the public radio show, “The Takeaway,” I wanted to hone my interviewing skills. The information I found did not work. So, I started consulting brain science on how different cultures communicate. I ended up with new insights into a good conversation.
Q. You said most people don’t converse very well. What do you mean by that?
A. First, we mostly talk about ourselves. 60% of the time. Boring. The other person knows what they want to say, we’re just waiting for us to take a breath so they can talk.
Q. What advice do you have for becoming a better listener?
A. Try to listen to the underlying message behind someone’s words. What are they really saying?
Q. What is conversational competence?
A. The ability to communicate a message clearly and to understand what others tell you. Our messages get garbled and we have a hard time listening to what is actually said instead of hearing a partial message.
Q. Do you have any additional conversation tips?
A. 1. Be there in the conversation or go elsewhere. We’re really not that good at multi-tasking.
2. Check your bias. The belief that your intelligence protects you from erroneous assumptions can end up making you more vulnerable.
3. Hide the phone. Don’t just put it down. Put it away.
In Conclusion…Communication skills are skills that last a lifetime. They can be so-so or better. But, it’s probably worth the effort to improve.
Source: “How To Have Better Conversations,” Self-Storage News, Sept/Oct. 2017