5 Strategies to Help You Maintain a Good Conversation

5 Strategies to Help You Maintain a Good Conversation

Last update: 30 October, 2018

Dialogue is the main foundation of our relationships. It’s how we get in touch with our society and our culture. Hence, knowing how to maintain a good conversation is important to building, preserving, and enriching our circle of support.

In this sense, the best news is that all those social skills can be improved with the right techniques and practice. This is an art that we can only learn through practice.

The most important thing about keeping a good conversation going is having an open attitude towards the other person. You can learn from people all around the world. You can have a pleasant exchange with anyone if you approach them the right way. That being said, there are some guidelines that contribute to making dialogue as good as possible.

“A good conversation should exhaust the issue, not the speakers.”

-Winston Churchill-

1. Active listening

Maintaining a good conversation is something that directly depends on the ability to listen. Knowing how to listen to another person doesn’t mean increasing the sounds our ears can comprehend. Good listening is active and participatory.

Active listening keeps the dialogue from becoming a monologue. When only one of the two participants is talking, there is no conversation. Yes, there’s always going to be a certain level of asymmetry. Usually, one person talks more and the other person listens more. This is because it’s very difficult to achieve absolute balance. But the closer we get to it, the better the dialogue will be.

People having a conversation.

2. Pauses are important

Silence always manages to slither into a conversation. Some people are deeply disturbed by this. It’s really not that bad since pauses are also necessary. However, when the silence is too long and you don’t want to end the conversation, you meed to rescue the conversation.

How do you do that? The best way is to use transition phrases. These are affirmations that allow the dialogue to start back up again. You can start to talk about a previous topic or a new one. You can use expressions like “Regarding what you said before…” or “Changing the subject, I’d like to know what you think of…”. You could also say something like “I hadn’t commented on that”. These are all phrases that help you chain together thoughts and maintain a lively conversation.

3. Share information

Sharing information has to do with answering the other person’s questions adequately. If we answer laconically or confine ourselves to monosyllables, we’ll frustrate the other person’s will to nourish and maintain a good conversation.

If we answer the other person’s questions with additional information, we’ll facilitate the dialogue. It also shows openness and the desire to express what we think, feel, or believe. This facilitates interaction. This doesn’t mean we should always give extensive responses, but that we must provide additional information to those who ask it of us.

People talking.

4. Self-disclosure: One of the keys to maintaining a good conversation

Human beings are more likely to trust people who trust them, just like we tend to be more open to those who adopt similar attitudes with us. If you want a conversation to turn more personal, we recommend sharing personal information. This means you should reveal other aspects of yourself that are more private.

Therefore, if we speak spontaneously of those personal things, the other person will be more likely to feel motivated to do so. All this leads to a successful transition from an educated and formal conversation to a more personal one.

5. Questions: The driving force of conversations

Questions help conversations move forward. They not only allow us to explore and get to know the other person better, but they’re also indispensable keys to maintaining a good conversation. Obviously, you have to have enough criteria to choose the questions that you’re going to ask the other person. The goal isn’t to make them feel interrogated.

If you don’t know a person well, it’s best to ask questions that go from a superficial level to a more personal one. This way, you’ll give them time to trust in you and you won’t create moments of discomfort.

Cultivating the art of good conversation is worth it. Not only does it lead you to entertaining situations, but it’s also therapeutic. It allows you to express yourself, listen, and learn from others. It also enriches your life and spices up your relationships with others.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Denis, V. C. (2002). MEI o el placer de la conversación. Métodos de información, 9(50), 28-29.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.