Conversations are the building blocks of relationships. Unfortunately, today's method of operation seems to be less talking and more texting. But for anyone who wants to create truly beneficial relationships, you have to stop texting, walk away from the computer and connect with someone one-on-one through a great conversation. Here is why now's the time to remaster the art of conversation.
It puts quality ahead of speed. Texting, instant messaging and email provide great ways to communicate, but there is a one-sidedness, a delay in the actual exchange of ideas that doesn't exist when you are speaking with someone. With these methods, the chances are higher you will misunderstand the other person because there's no way to capture tone and feeling in a way that ensures it won't be confused.
It's the glue of great relationships. Think about this in terms of your professional life. Who do you trust more: The vendor who always calls you or the one who only communicates via email? When it comes right down to it, your relationship with the vendor you regularly speak to is probably stronger. Conversation is essential in all relationships. If you can't hold a conversation with another person, your relationship quickly breaks down.
It's an opportunity-making skill. Being a great conversationalist can lead to great opportunities, both in your professional and social lives. For example, to get your dream job, you have to back up your written resume with a great interview. The best interviews feel like normal conversations. In your social life, if you want to ask someone on a date or even make a new friend, you have to talk to that person. Technology only gets you so far. Life's opportunities are sealed with conversation, not texting or emailing.
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Maribeth Kuzmeski is the founder of Red Zone Marketing LLC, which consults to Fortune 500 firms on strategic marketing planning and business growth. Kuzmeski has personally consulted with CEOs, entrepreneurs and professionals. For more information, go to www.redzonemarketing.com.