The Art of Conversation

The art of conversation is a necessary skill in life, from the schoolyard to the conference room, and in just about every conceivable step of your career path. Conversations introduce us to the people who will become our mentors, coworkers, companions, and friends. As a result, there is great impetus to master conversation so that forming the foundation of these relationships is easier. But how can you go about improving this omnipresent yet often overlooked skill?

According to, conversation is one of the more spontaneous and less formal methods of communication. Fortunately, you do not have to be outgoing and hold the attention of a whole room to be a good conversationalist, nor do you need to be full of facts, stories, or advice. As we shall soon see, mastering the art of conversation requires little more than the desire to connect with others.

Be a Good Listener

Perhaps the most important skill within the art of conversation has nothing to do with speaking at all. A conversation where one person does all the talking isn’t a conversation: it’s a monologue. While having things to say and being interesting is all well and good, being a good listener and making others feel like you care about what they have to say is a vital skill both in the workplace and in life. In addition, it’s rather hard to learn anything when you’re the only one speaking! One of the best ways to be a listener, other than focusing on what the other person has to say, is to ask questions to further drive the discussion.