It is good to build better relationships with the people you love and those who matter to you. However, humans are social beings. It’s a no-brainer that no man really is an island. Every day, we find ourselves interacting with people, not just on social media, but also in person, whether we are meeting them for the first time or not.
So, to make this easier for you, here are some practical tips to help you to build and establish trust in your relationships with others using conversations, even those you’re only just getting to know.
1. Ask questions
To learn about people’s priorities, goals and objectives, ask them questions. Remember that it’s not always about you. What do they want to talk about? Seek their thoughts and opinions and probe their thinking with when, what, and how questions.
2. Let them talk
Suspend your own need to talk and try not to interrupt them during a conversation. If possible, pause for five seconds after they’re done talking before you speak. This may seem like an awkwardly long time, but it will help you collect your thoughts together and give hem space should they want to say something else.
3. Listen to them
It is one thing to allow someone to talk. It’s an entirely different thing to actually listen to them and genuinely try to understand things from their point of view. Try asking questions like, “How did that make you feel?” and “Why did that happen?” Doing this will encourage the other person to talk and also increase your understanding of their thoughts and opinions, and eventually them.
4. Don’t dictate how your conversations should go
If you have the habit of pulling the conversation back to what you want to talk about, regardless of what the person you’re talking with wants, then you should stop it. This not only disrupts the tempo of the conversation but also makes it difficult for you to develop a good relationship with them. Place their needs ahead of yours and allow the conversation flow or let them dictate where it heads.
5. Let go of your ego
This is the most difficult of them all. The most important goal in every conversation is to leave the other person feeling better for having spoken to you and also extract knowledge from them.
Normally, two people engaging in a conversation will patiently wait for the other person to be done with the story they are telling before saying theirs on a related topic, often in an attempt to have a better and more interesting story. Suspending your ego is putting other individuals’ wants, needs, and perceptions of reality ahead of your own, validating them unconditionally and non-judgmentally.
This will continue to encourage the other individual to talk about his or her story, neglecting your own need to share what they think is a great story.