Good conversation and good coffee build good friendships. Facebook, Twitter and my blog are helpful places for social networking. Those tools can never replace face to face conversations about life, dreams, children, marriage, sports, books, politics, faith, whatever. Some people use them to avoid face to face conversation. It’s a loss for them and others who want to know them.
I understand the fear but it’s a fear that can be conquered. Conversational skills will open doors of opportunity for you that you’ve dreamed of. Good conversationalists are interested in the other person’s thoughts, dreams, ambitions, stories and even their hurts.
You’ve always heard how important it is to listen. You’ve may even heard things like “God gave you two ears and one mouth” so you listen twice as much as you speak. Is that true? Unless you are giving a speech, yes! By the way if you give a speech, it will be much more interesting and effective, if you spend four or five as much times listening to others talk to you about your subject.
Listening means, well, listening to what the other person is saying. Listening, rather than thinking about your response. When they finish, you’ll know what to say. Conversation will flow, if you listen. Even if I don’t know a lot about the subject, like gourmet cooking.
Whenever I’m having lunch or breakfast with someone it’s never about the food, unless I’m eating with a foodie. It’s about the relationship, friendship or partnership. The person matters is why I’m having a meal with them. In my circles it’s often referred to as breaking bread together. Why? Because many of Jesus’ conversation with people took place over food.
For example, I have friends, that I never order my own meal when I’m with them. They order for me and we talk about food. Where it came from, how it was grown, how it was prepared and what makes it special. These friends have taught me how to be aware of the flavors, textures, flavor of food. However it’s, still about the conversation.
Tomorrow, I’ll share some tips for preparing to have good conversation but if you really want to know the secret it is this. God’s Spirit dwelling in your heart by faith gives you a genuine love for people and their dreams, interests and hurts. The mark of a Spirit filled Christian is a genuine love for all people! (John 3:16)
Grace, Peace and Joy!