12 Things to Avoid in Conversation

12 Things to Avoid in Conversation

Thank you to our Associate, Arnold Sanow for this contribution.

To build rapport, relationships and to connect with customers, co-workers family and friends it’s important to watch what you say and how you say it. Poor conversation skills can derail teams, cause leaders to lose respect, destroy customer relationships, lose sales, and demolish friendships. Here are 12 things to avoid in your conversations.

1. Gossiping – By constantly gossiping about others you lose trust and respect.

2. Talking too long about yourself- A good conversation is a 2 way street. By asking open ended questions and showing interest in others they will show interest in you. Remember the #1 key to popularity is to be ‘interested, not just interesting.’

3. Talking about Sex, Politics and Religion – Don’t assume that everyone has the same opinion about everything that you do. Talking about these can make others feel uncomfortable and can cause them to reject you or your ideas.

4. Interrupting – When you interrupt others, sensitivity, rapport and commitment are killed.

5. Bragging- (This is different from promoting your achievements).It’s annoying to many people if you constantly talk about all the great things you have done, name drop and show one-upmanship.

6. Being Critical of Others who have Different Opinions – Everyone was raised differently, comes from different backgrounds and sees the world from their unique perspective. This is a sure way to turn people away from you.

7. Arguing – The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.

8. Ingratitude – Always show appreciation for what others say or do. Even if they have some concern about you, thank them for sharing that with you. If you want to be appreciated, show appreciation.

9. Using Unfamiliar Terminology- If people don’t understand what you are talking about they will lose interest in the conversation. Get rid of jargon and your ‘million dollar’ words and stick to the ‘fifty cent’ words that everyone understands.

10. Not Listening – You have 2 ears and one mouth. People love people who listen to them.

11. Complaining – People like others who are in good spirits. People avoid constant complainers. Also watch out about talking about illness or an operation in detail.

12. Not Admitting Mistakes – The six most important words in the English language, “I admit I made a mistake.” If you make an error always apologize.

To make all of your conversations positive, the next time you greet someone treat them as if they are your best friend that you have not seen in years. You want everyone to feel good about themselves after they talked to you!


For more information on communicating better click here.