5 tips to engage yourself in meaningful conversations

 

Last week I wrote about making the connection between topics that you learn and your daily life, and using that as a conversation topic. Such practice can make any learning received long lasting. Have you tried it?

Today I have 5 tips to engage in richer spoken or written conversations. You can apply these in the YMP and in any other learning context, or social network structure.

1)   DARE to communicate. Dare to be the first one saying something or posting an idea, comment or question. Rich conversations will not just come to you. Someone has to break the ice, to start the conversation. Either you wait, and may wait forever, or you can take the initiative.

Once a Chinese student explained to me that he did not comment on the YMP site because he was afraid of being wrong. He is a great student, but had an unconfident approach! In the worst case your ideas may not fit the conversation if you do not listen or read carefully. Ideas are just ideas, some are useful, some are incomplete, some show a totally different approach, some are out of context, and others are just bad ideas. So what? You are learning! But, how could you know if you don’t dare to share what you think? The person listening will likely tell you with her/his response. We do not need to be right all the time, unless you are writing answers on an exam!  We gain a sense of what can be more adequate or reasonable through engaging in richer conversations.

2)   ASK! Ask for clarification, for examples, for suggestions, ask why, why not. Use all the other “wh” questions (who, what, where, which, when, how).  The key to asking is involvement and curiosity.  Listening and reading carefully will likely result in questions. Many times there is a deeper message behind what people write and say. Sometimes people´s ideas are unclear, or do not make sense to you. You notice that when you pay attention. That gives you opportunity to ask.

3)   MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THE MESSAGE. Sometimes we think we understand what someone else wrote or said, but we don´t.  Because we are using our own expectations, beliefs, and our own understanding of the world instead of seeing things through the other person’s perspective and context. A word may mean something different to two different people, even if they share the same culture and background. Always ask what the other means with any specific word if the message is unclear.

It is helpful to confirm whether you understood correctly. For example, ask- “are you saying that … ?” This will also help the other person clarify her/his message and a richer conversation can begin!

4)   GO BEYOND “JUDGING”. There is no conversation invite in comments such as “good work”, “it is not clear”, “there´s lack of effort”. Go beyond; explain why you think that a comment, or assignment if you are in the YMP, is good or poor, in your opinion. Be specific on what is not clear to you, why you think there was no effort.  Identifying strengths and weaknesses, and being able to elaborate on them are valuable skills to develop. Take it even further and suggest how to improve. That is very constructive and trains your creativity!

5)   FOCUS ON THE IDEA NOT ON THE PERSON. There is a distinction between the message and the messenger. Different ideas and comments (messages) help us see different angles of a subject. By focusing on the message and commenting on it we can better understand the suggested angle. Whereas, focusing on the person (messenger) puts the idea in second place and distracts us. So you can tell someone “what you said does not apply to the problem because of … have you thought about … ?” instead of  “you are wrong”. Do you see the difference? The first suggestion focuses on the message and gives place for the idea to evolve. The second one, focuses on the person and can mislead the conversation.

In a nutshell, what I am saying is that courage, curiosity, understanding of the other person´s  perspective, going beyond judgement, and focusing on the message can lead you to richer conversations.

What was your last most engaging conversation and what made it so interesting? Share with us!

Practice these tips: If you are in the YMP find a “share and learn” post every Friday on your YMP global classroom, comment on it, use the ideas in this article, engage in rich conversations, and get some credits doing so!

What is coming? Next week we will have a guest YMP teacher blogger. He will tell us about being a YMP teacher in a foreign country.

Do you have a comment to this article? Share with us, just click on “Leave a reply

Written by: Paola Mendoza at YMP Team

Join a Smarter World!

Like this article? Share it with friends, click below:

48 thoughts on “5 tips to engage yourself in meaningful conversations

  1. Its such as you read my mind! You seem to grasp a lot about this, like you wrote the guide in it or something. I believe that you just can do with some percent to pressure the message home a bit, however instead of that, this is fantastic blog. A great read. I’ll definitely be back.

    • Great and thank you. Looking forwards to seeing you around and communicating with you, if you want, in this blog site!

  2. I like the valuable info you supply for your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and take a look at again right here regularly. I’m somewhat sure I will be told many new stuff right here! Best of luck for the following!

  3. Wonderful work! This is the kind of information that are supposed to be shared across the web. Shame on Google for not positioning this submit higher! Come on over and talk over with my site . Thanks =)

  4. You have point of point a very good site owner. Your website packing rate is usually astounding. Apparently you are carrying out virtually any special tip. As well, This subject matter usually are mona lisa. you could have performed an incredible approach on this issue!

  5. Pingback: maillot ukraine exterieur

  6. I simply want to mention I am just newbie to blogging and site-building and certainly liked you’re web blog. Most likely I’m planning to bookmark your blog . You definitely come with impressive writings. Thanks a bunch for sharing with us your blog.

  7. That is really attention-grabbing, You are an overly skilled blogger. I have joined your feed and sit up for searching for more of your wonderful post. Additionally, I’ve shared your website in my social networks!

  8. It’s very fantastic to learn to read your site content, amigo. When i are going to deal with your blog everyday and also call your web page to see your recent reports, as soon as you upgrade. Continue! I do hope you have a great day time.

  9. I’ve been browsing on-line more than three hours lately, yet I never found any fascinating article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you probably did, the web might be a lot more helpful than ever before.

  10. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this website. I’m hoping the same high-grade blog post from you in the upcoming as well. Actually your creative writing skills has inspired me to get my own site now. Actually the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your write up is a great example of it.

  11. Wow! This can be one particular of the most helpful blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Wonderful. I’m also a specialist in this topic so I can understand your hard work.

  12. Just want to say your article is as astonishing. The clearness in your post is just great and
    i could assume you are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission let me to grab your
    RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the gratifying work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *