I’m at a conference this weekend so I want to post a few notes on how to talk to people as a reminder for myself.

Genuinely listen to understand

One of my mentors told me this a few years ago and it stuck with me. The best way to get to know someone is to genuinely listen to them. Don’t listen to hear the words they say, but to understand what they’re communicating. When people feel understood by you, it drives them to want to understand you.

This is the best way to build a genuine connection with somebody. It doesn’t involve small talk or saying empty things, but getting to the core of the conversation and digging past the surface.

Be undivided

This one is hard for me especially at a conference when there are a ton of people around. When you’re talking to someone, give them your undivided attention. If you’ve chosen to talk with them, then talk with them and don’t let your attention stray from the conversation.

If you find yourself uninterested in what they are saying, either force yourself to be interested, or find a more interesting conversation.

Be interested

The best way to be interesting is to be interested. Ask good questions.