In the agile world, the art of conversation must be an innate skill that needs distillation before it’s delivered. But it’s not hard as we think. Whether it’s at a dinner with family, official meeting, or over the phone, a great conversation starts when two or more people meet and discuss distinctively. Because, whenever I talk, I intend to squeeze my talk and deliver quickly, the same as I would expect from someone talking to me. At least, one hour of anybody’s day is spent on talking, and people talk willingly for hours, let alone talkative women. If talking could burn calories, most people would be fit and gyms wouldn’t exist.
To get into detail, the very basic question that struck me was “why do we converse?”. Usually, we speak to exchange ideas or persuade or gossip indistinctly. And when we speak, our brain receptors converts the speech into visualization, in order to make better understanding. The optimal conversation, I think, is where these visuals match identically.
As a student, I always felt lectures to be boring while short talks kept me curious and listening. This is because the brain could endure listening only for relatively short period. Therefore, in order to converse efficiently, the talks should be short enough to lie within the listening interval and long enough to convey ideas vividly.
Further, in business meetings, talking corresponds to monetary figures. In either possible or impossible negotiations, talking prolongs to make sure business doesn’t go off hand. To these businessmen, the trade is successful when a deal gets a nod. There was a time where the sales team had to pitch in for extra innings in an effort to sell their products. But nowadays the trend is getting to the point.
To continue, Women and talking go hand in hand as they talk endlessly. A reserved woman is a myth. Even to the simplest of things, women talk in detail or repetition. In my personal experience within household, my grandmother keeps repeating things or tasks every six months to get it done from me. I agree that I take few months of procrastination unless urged quickly and God willingly, the task gets started though the ending is ‘X’.
Is it a mark of skillful mind to be able to convey ideas in precision? Indeed, it is, far from shadow of doubt. The finest of people I’ve met talk in counted, meaningful words and always kept me interested in their talking. That’s how they become sensible in my eyes and classified inside my head.
Beyond recall, I wondered how the leaders clout the massive crowd with flattering words? I, at times, go ‘Wow’ when some people talk and feel like asking for more. On the other hand, loquacious leaders are impotent to rule over their clan. Be it a manager, coach or a superior or a captain, people follow the leaders whose talk is compliant with smartness.
Remember Michael Corleone in The Godfather? The character is nothing short of charm and brilliance. The discussion with The Senator, Pat Geary, regarding a business settlement is absolute precision and one of my many favorite quotes of the classic saga.
“I want your answer and the money by noon tomorrow”
“Senator, you can have my answer now if you like”.
“My offer is this, Nothing“.
That’s finishing in style. I’m not talking about just using shorter sentences and ending talks, but being witty as well.
When we talk less, every word weighs more and people who talk few words of sense gain respect. How to talk precisely? I think these things might help. Here you go !
Speak reliably: If you intend to keep things right, honesty is the best policy. This would solve a lot of problem.
- “Say what is true, although it may be bitter and displeasing to people”. – Prophet Muhammad
Listening: I feel listening is a way of showing respect to someone you talk. If you talk, you talk. If someone talks, you listen. That’s the thumb rule. Listening is important and gives the time to think and reply short.
- Wait until the person finish and look out for a reply.
- Also the difficulty lies in impatient speaker who intrudes very often. In any way, keeping calm and listening will help a little.
Rehearsal helps: Most often, the scope of discussion in any meeting is known. It’s wise to know what the agenda is and be perceptive of what is expected.
- Observation from the last meeting would help this happen.
- Most prediction of results are from the patterns from the past. This really help expect things and be ready.
To say ‘NO’: Denial is the unused lifeline in most of the situations. When we speculate on giving something, the trust factor is put to risk. If the promise is not kept, then future relationship is at peril. Indeed, No is the most difficult word to be used, but it’s a valuable aid. If it’s a ‘No’ then it has to be a ‘No’.
- “I understand the situation is critical but with all the other factors and considering the effort, it is not possible at the moment”.
- “For this, my answer is going to be ‘No’ and I am going to explain why”.
- “I can’t do this for you, because I’m held up with something really urgent”.
Take time and ensure clarity: Talk in clear, loud and slow manner with clear intention. Elder people talk slowly and with infinitesimal use of words. Careful usage of words will not hurt anyone.
- “If I may ask you, Is this what you said?.”
- “In that case I need some more time until I get back to you with the necessary information. Is this Okay for you?”
- “The situation is critical and I will not be available until a week. Do you have any concerns?”.
KISS: ‘KISS’ whenever you speak for productive listening from the person you’re talking to. In my reference, KISS deciphers to ‘Keep it short and sensible‘.
- “Alright let’s summarize our discussion for a clear understanding and call the meeting off”.
- “Okay I understand this but let me talk to you soon”.
Nevertheless, the speaking cults are volatile and completely ridiculous. Uprooting is far from possible. Refine your talks and be Precise. My belief is precision and clear-cut talking could make one look smart. Thus the quote.
“Men of few words are the best men.”
Picture Courtesy: Google