A SUCCESSFUL CONVERSATIONIST'S MOTTO:
"BEING CONSIDERATE OF YOUR CONVERSATION PARTNER
IS OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE"
The title of today's topic might provoke some strange feelings in some of you. In fact, some of you might be asking yourselves something like: (a) Is this another sermon being preached to us about how we should act and behave? (b) Why should I be concerned about being considerate of someone during a conversation if they aren't the same with me? (c) Why is this topic of any interest for those people who are just talking with one another casually? Or maybe, you have another question in your mind. These are all doubts that might be triggered in one's mind because the word "considerate" conjures up images about being overly polite to someone, showing them too much respect, or appearing to be artificial and insincere with them.
However, as you will soon find out, this is actually a very serious topic to reflect on. Before you have your next conversation with someone, think about the advice that is given here. Showing your conversation partner consideration is much more than simply being nice or polite to them. Let's explore what's involved in being mindful of the person with whom you are speaking, and how it will have a positive effect on your future conversations with others. If you want to be a successful conversationist, then it is important to (1) recognize who your conversation partner is, (2) determine ahead of time what the purpose of your conversation is with someone else, (3) know what to say and how to say it, and (4) learn how to control your own emotions and behavior during a conversation.
First off, it is essential to stop and think about who you are going to talk with. Take some quiet time alone in order to give this some serious thought. Have in mind whether or not you know the person, and how much they know about you. If your conversation partner is a friend, then you are obviously not going to talk with them the same way that you would if they were a person that you are meeting for the first time. The treatment that you give them and the language that you use are totally different with each one of these two persons. Life has many very valuable lessons to learn from, and one of them is to remember that you never know who you are talking to. In other words, your conversation partner might be connected in some way to someone else that you already know; for example, a neighbor, a friend of a friend, another person who works with the same company as you do, an important future connection to be added to your network of contacts, or the spouse or other family member of someone that you know. Life connects us together with others in very strange ways, so it is better to be aware of this when you are talking to someone else.
Another valuable part of this personal reflection is to remember the importance of treating others with the same respect that you would like to be treated. This means even when the other person might be having a bad day, and is being a little abrupt with you. Also keep in mind that a person's outward appearance doesn't always indicate who that person really is. For example, be careful not to judge your conversation partner based on what they look like. Even though they are not dressed the way you might imagine a professional to look like, that doesn't mean that they are not, in fact, a professional. This person just might have influence on some aspect of your future business life someday. If you are not careful, you might miss out on some important opportunities.
Another good example of a person's outward appearance, is when you walk into a company's lobby where you are looking for a job. If you ask someone where the restroom is, you have no idea who that person is. It might be your future secretary, co-worker, boss, or other potential contact in that company. Therefore, take the time to consider who your conversation partner is, even if the conversation is only about asking where the bathroom is. Not every male boss wears a tie, every secretary is not necessarily a woman, and not every good-looking person is someone that you can automatically trust.