Dr. Rich Patterson

Initiating A Conversation

As an educator, I frequently have noticed that some students have a difficult time initiating a conversation.  For whatever reasons they feel like they have nothing to say or that they just don’t know what to say.  As parents, when we notice that our kids are struggling when meeting new people in particular, it is important to talk with them and help them with some skills toward initiating a conversation.

I think that part of this difficulty lies with just knowing how to be ourselves.  With knowing that we can simply and casually react to what is going on and not worry about it being perfect, or cleaver or showing that we’re smart.  Here’s what I know, teach kids, and adults for that matter, the three steps to great conversation.  1)  Be the first to make an approach to someone, don’t wait for them to come to you.  2)  Turn the conversation to them as quickly as possible.  Don’t spend time talking about yourself, find out what their interests are, why they are at the event or place that you meet them.  3)  Offer them something that will help them.  Always leave a conversation with a thought, or something you can send them, maybe that you’ve written, or something that you’ve read, such as this blog.  When you leave them, they will feel as if they like you, that they would enjoy more conversation with you.

By keeping the conversation short and effective you leave them thinking that you were helpful and you can make a difference for them.  Teaching our kids how to initiate a conversation is a life-skill that can benefit them forever all of their days.  You can readily tell the kids who have this skill and use it effectively.  People are immediately drawn to them and engage with them frequently.

Tell me how you initiate a conversation in the comments below.