Open to a Conversation — tips

otc 1 blueWe have a choice in wearing the button, wait for others to approach us which they will, or be proactive and engage with someone who appears open.

Initial response:
When strangers approach us in response to the button:

Key points:
We usually get the opportunity to ask only one or two questions.

Concerned about conversations going on too long?…  Set this up, by letting  them know how long you’ve got ( or do they have?)

When people comment on the card, asking a question like, “What’s gone well today?” is a great starter. Another is  “What was different about your day?”, or  “What would you love to do?”
To protect yourself from getting having to listen to long monologues, keep in mind that ‘less is more.’ It can be helpful to set up a question with , ” In three sentences… ‘ , or ‘ What is one highlight.’
Commenting on the button or the process can be a waste of time.

Going beyond the superficial

The questions you ask are key.
Here are two of our 19 cards with great questions. Or..
View these clips to the right .
WGWT: New terms of engagement

Closing a conversation:
When you feel it’s time to wrap the conversation say something like,”I’ve got to go, thanks for the chat”, “I’ve enjoyed the conversation, thanks for talking.”, or
Give them your card and and say “Let’s stay in touch.”

I have to end my conversations  alot.. with clients or strangers because I am so busy and  my time is so crunchy. I have to end  conversations very quickly, especially if it’s with clients who want to talk a lot, or someone I meet on the street.. I do want to engage with them, but I only have a couple of minutes.  So often I help them get to the point of what they wanted to share and then after that I say ‘it’s been nice talking to you, hopefully we’ll run into each other again. I say something to let them know the conversation is over.  If they don’t get the point.  I find recapping, depending on what it is, summarizing.. and say ‘I think I’ve got it.”

If people felt more comfortable about their skills about ending their conversations  successfully, they wouldn’t worry so much about boundary issues in talking with others as well.
End with a smile.

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