Episode Transcript

Hey, it’s Hadar. And this is The Accent’s Way, speaking to you from YouTube Space, Berlin. How fun is that?

I wanted to give you a few tips today on how to be a great conversation partner. It’s very important to be a great speaker, especially when you speak a foreign language, but it’s also extremely important to be a great conversation partner, to be a good listener.

Sometimes we’re so preoccupied with what we’re going to say, what words we need to use, being afraid of getting stuck that we forget to be a good conversation partner. We forget to listen. We forget to communicate, to really communicate.

So, I want to give you a few tips to remind you what makes a great conversation partner, and what you can do every day with people you speak to. And of course, it could be in your native tongue and in English. To be a better listener, to be a better partner.

First, make it about them. It takes the edge off of you so you don’t have to always speak. And also, people like to talk about themselves. People like when others are interested in what they have to say in their lives. Ask them questions, ask them real questions. Try to be the one leading the conversation by getting the other person to speak. Really be interested in what they have to say. Make it about them, not about you.

Number two. Look them in the eyes. Don’t look away, don’t look at your freaking phone, don’t look at your watch. Look them in the eyes. If you feel embarrassed, if you feel it’s too much, look at their mouth, but make sure that they see that you are looking at them and not elsewhere.

Even though you’re listening, they don’t know that you’re listening. If you’re looking away, okay? It doesn’t feel safe, and people don’t want to keep on talking if no one’s listening to them. It makes them feel funny and weird, and it turns you into a bad conversation partner.

Of course, you can look away every now and then, but always go back to their face. I guarantee that you’ll enjoy the conversation more because you won’t think of other things. It will force you to actually listen to them. And hopefully, they’ll say something interesting.

My next tip is: the strong connection is in the details. If it’s someone that is not new to you that you’ve spoken with before, a friend, a colleague, client. Remember things from your previous conversation. Even take a mental note of the simple things: his daughter’s name, her experience in the last flight over here. Remember small details and bring them up in the next conversation.

When you remember the small details and you bring it up in the next conversation, ask a question about it, it will really touch them, it will move them. They’ll feel that you actually listened, that you remembered something about them. It is so meaningful to people to feel what they said mattered. Even if it’s a simple thing. Especially, if it’s a simple thing. We all remember big things, big events, but the small things, the small things really make all the difference. So, remember the small things and remember to bring it up in the next conversation.

Don’t bitch about other people’s behaviors. “Oh, look at him, how he eats. Oh my God. He’s taking all the food from the buffet”. “Oh my God, look at her. What is up with her hair?” I mean, you don’t know who this person you’re speaking with. Maybe they’re doing the same thing, and maybe that’s going to make them feel super uncomfortable.

It happened to me once. I was speaking to this woman and she started talking about all these women that do this, this and that, and I was like, “Hmm, that’s what I do”. And it made me feel uncomfortable, and it made me feel like I don’t want to be her friend. And you know what? We ended up not being friends.

So, let me tell you this, even if you feel strongly about something, keep it to yourself if you don’t know the person well. You don’t know where they’re coming from, you don’t know how they’re going to feel. And when you judge other people, they will feel that you will judge them easily as well.

So be careful with how might you bitch about other people. Although it may be a funny conversation topic. You know, you can find other funny conversation topics to talk about. And anyway, speaking badly about other people is not a good habit anyway.

Respect and appreciate silence. Don’t fill in every single moment of silence. Don’t feel like you have to speak really quickly. When someone says something, don’t jump in and speak immediately after they’re done. Let it sink, give it a moment, take a breath.

When you jump in and say what you have to say without taking any pause after what the other person just said, it looks like you are just not listening to them. Like you were waiting for the moment you could just jump in and speak, like it’s all about what you have to say.

To show that you’re actually listening to other people, you have to give a time, take a breath, and then say what you have to say. Even though you know exactly what you need to say and you’ve been waiting to say it for a while. So, respect silence and understand it’s a meaningful and essential part of the conversation, in-between sentences, and just silence, as is. Just like that.

Okay. That’s it. I hope you liked it. It was a bit of a different video, but these are things that I’ve been thinking about lately. And I think that in order to be a good speaker, you definitely have to be a good listener, a great listener, a fantastic listener, right? That’s more important than anything else.

And then you are able to hear things, to notice things, and to really connect and communicate. And it doesn’t matter how well you speak English. If you can listen, if you can ask questions, people would love speaking to you. And it’s extremely important when it comes to work relationships, and of course, to personal relationships.

Okay. So leave me a comment below. Tell me what other things you think can turn you into a great conversation partner, and what are the things that you’re still struggling with? Let me know and let’s start a conversation right there in the comments below.

Thank you so much for watching. If you like this video, please share it with your friends. And if you haven’t subscribed to my YouTube channel, click on the Subscribe button and on the bell to get notifications, so you know when I upload a new video.

Have a wonderful week, full of communication and conversation. And I’ll see you next week in the next video. Bye.