In our teen group, we have been exchanging some few tips on interactive conversations. We learn that having conversations with people do not always have to be based on “intellectual compatibility or commonality.” Simply showing interest and showing thoughtfulness can encourage others to show interest in you. We also learned that being a good conversation partner is sometimes just listening.
- No HOGGING allowed, Did you know taking over the topic does not make you look smart? It makes people annoyed and not want to talk to you.
- Upper Hand is off the table, If someone has the upper hand, they have a position of power and control in the conversation and what the other person says does not matter. Simply put that is not FAIR!
- Professor Know it All is not permitted, When you share too much of your knowledge, you are talking at people rather than with them. It makes it look as if you are looking down at them. When you talk at people you are bragging and acting like “Professor know it all!” There’s no back and forth in your conversation. Who wants to be around that?
- Smarty Pants stay home, This is someone who is always trying to be cleverer than everyone by bringing up inappropriate topics such as, dumb jokes, teasing conversational partner(s) and pushing boundaries. This person can quickly get on your nerves and their behaviors and conversations are hurtful!
With interactive conversations have an open mind and also be clear about your own intent. This will help you decide if moving forward with the conversation is important or if just listening is much more important. Listening and using minimal encouragements gradually transition the conversation to a much more compatible topic.
Uduak (Udie) Osom holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Speech and Language Pathology from San Jose State University. Udie has served students of all ability levels from preschool through grade 12, for over 20 years. She is very passionate about neuro-developmental disabilities and social-cognitive disabilities. She is the owner/director of Innovative Therapy Services, a pediatric speech, language and social skills clinic in Santa Clara, CA. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.