8 Things You’re Probably Doing Wrong in Conversations

By Marcella Raskin

Reviewed, fact-checked & edited by Lenny Terra.
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We’ve all been there. You’re in the middle of a conversation with someone, and suddenly you realize you’re not sure what you’re supposed to be doing. You may be saying the wrong things or not saying enough. Or maybe you’re just not making enough eye contact. Don’t worry – help is here! This blog post will teach you eight things you’re probably doing wrong in conversations and how to correct them. With a bit of practice, you’ll have fluid, engaging conversations like a pro!

You’re jumping to conclusions too quickly.

frustrating

Have you ever been in a conversation where you felt like you were not being heard? Or, on the flip side, have someone interrupted you while you’re speaking? It can be frustrating in either case, but there’s often a common denominator: jumping to conclusions. When we jump to conclusions, we assume that we know what the other person will say or what they’re thinking. As a result, we sometimes miss out on important information or make the conversation more complicated than it needs to be.

The next time you’re in a conversation, try to resist the urge to jump to conclusions. Listen carefully to what the other person is saying, and take your time before responding. You may be surprised at how much more productive and enjoyable the conversation can be.

You’re not asking questions.

There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re in a one-sided conversation. Do you know the kind where you’re doing all the talking, and the other person is just nodding along, not saying anything? It’s frustrating, right? That’s why it’s important to ask questions in a conversation. It shows that you’re interested in what the other person says and allows you to learn more about them. Plus, it helps to keep the conversation flowing.

Asking questions also put in evidence that you are listening to what the other person is saying. This can be helpful in both personal and professional conversations. In a private conversation, asking questions can help to build rapport and deepen your relationship with the other person. In a professional conversation, asking questions can help you to gather information and make better decisions.

 Furthermore, asking questions can help to build rapport and create a more positive connection with the other person. However, it’s essential to ask the right kind of questions. Avoid yes or no questions, as they can shut down a conversation quickly. Instead, ask open-ended questions encouraging the other person to share their thoughts and feelings. By asking the right kind of questions, you can ensure that your conversations are engaging and enjoyable for both parties.

Here are some tips on how to ask questions in a conversation:

  • Pay attention to body language and other cues that may indicate when the other person is ready to speak or share their thoughts.
  • If they ask a question, ask the same question. This will help to keep the conversation flowing and allow both parties to share their thoughts and feelings.
  • Ask questions that are relevant to the topic at hand. This will help to keep the conversation focused and on track.
  • If you’re unsure what questions to ask, try asking open-ended “how” or “why” questions that encourage the other person to share their thoughts and feelings fully.
How to Ask Good Questions in Conversations

You’re not pausing enough.

One way to be a better conversationalist is to ensure you’re pausing enough. It can be tempting to fill every silence with words, but sometimes it’s best just to take a breath and let the other person talk. Pausing also allows you to listen to what the other person is saying and shows that you’re comfortable with silence.

There will be times in a conversation when you need to pause. And not just for a few seconds – we’re talking at least 10 seconds, maybe even 20. Why? Because it gives the other person time to process what you’ve said and come up with a response. Of course, there’s a balance to be struck – pausing too much can make the conversation stilted and awkward. But in general, it’s better to err on the side of pausing too much than not pausing enough. 

If you just keep talking, they’ll feel like they can’t get a word in edgewise – and that’s not going to lead to a productive conversation. So next time you’re in a discussion, pause intentionally every few minutes. It might feel weird initially, but your conversation will flow more smoothly.

You’re not using body language correctly.

body lenguage

If you’re not using body language correctly in a conversation, you could be sending the wrong message. For example, the other person may think you’re disinterested or bored if you’re looking down or avoiding eye contact. On the other hand, if you’re making too much eye contact or leaning in too close, you may come across as aggressive or pushy.

Similarly, if you’re crossed-armed and leaning away from the person you’re talking to, it can come across as disinterest or hostility. On the other hand, if you’re leaning in with an open posture, it shows that you’re engaged and interested in what they have to say. 

It’s vital to strike a balance and use appropriate body language for the situation. If you’re unsure what to do, observe the other person and mirror their body language. This will help create a rapport and make the conversation more comfortable for both of you.

You’re not speaking clearly.

Whenever you’re talking to someone, it’s important to speak clearly. Otherwise, they might not be able to understand what you’re saying. 

You can do a few things to make sure you’re speaking clearly:

  • Slow down and enunciate your words. Don’t try to rush through the conversation.
  • Make sure you’re projecting your voice. You don’t have to shout, but you should speak loudly enough that the other person can easily hear you.
  • Avoid filler words or phrases, such as “um” or “like”. These can distract from your message and make it harder for the other person to understand what you’re saying.
  • Practice regularly by talking to friends, family members, or coworkers.

You’re talking too much.

woman talking

It’s happened to all of us – you’re in the middle of a conversation when you suddenly realize that you’ve been doing most of the talking. Whether you’re nervous or just get excited when talking about your interests, it’s essential to be aware of how much you’re speaking. If you notice that you’re dominating the conversation, take a step back and give the other person a chance to share their thoughts. 

Often, the other person will appreciate this as well. They may be feeling nervous or too shy to share their ideas and thoughts if they see that you’re taking over the conversation. So take a step back, give them space to speak, and actively listen to what they have to say. This will not only help you build a stronger connection with the other person, but it will also help you be a more effective communicator.

Tips to avoid dominating a conversation

  • Practice active listening. Simply paying attention to what the other person is saying and making an effort to understand their perspective can help reduce your tendency to dominate a conversation. When you’re actively listening, it shows that you’re engaged and interested in what they have to say.
  • Limit the amount of “self-talk” you do during a conversation. If you notice that you’re constantly interrupting others or talking about yourself, try to make an effort to focus more on the other person and their ideas.
  • Asking open-ended questions is a great way to encourage others to share their thoughts and perspectives without feeling like they’re being dominated. Additionally, seeking feedback from others can help you better understand how they’re responding to your conversation style and whether or not you’re dominating the discussion.
  • Practice mindfulness and awareness in your conversations. Paying attention to your body language, tone of voice, and other nonverbal cues can help you recognize when you’re dominating a conversation. If you see that you’re becoming too focused on your ideas, try to consciously make an effort to shift the focus back to the other person.

Regardless of the situation or how comfortable you may feel with the other person, it’s always important to be mindful and aware of how you’re coming across in a conversation. With some practice and self-awareness, you can learn to avoid dominating a discussion and become a more effective communicator overall.

You are not thinking before spiking.

When engaging in a conversation, it is crucial to think carefully before making a statement or opinion. This means taking the time to consider other perspectives and viewpoints and gathering all of the necessary information before coming to any conclusions. Without this critical thinking, you may be prone to making thoughtless or rash statements that could end up causing conflict or damaging your reputation.

Developing good habits around critical thinking and communication is vital to avoid spiking without thought. This might include asking open-ended questions or seeking out feedback from others to ensure that you are making well-informed decisions. Additionally, it can be helpful to develop strong listening skills so that you can fully understand the other person’s perspective before responding.

Whether you’re engaging in a casual conversation or debating an important issue, it is always best to think before you speak. By taking the time to consider all of your options and carefully choosing your words, you can avoid spiking without thinking and ensure that your communication is thoughtful, respectful, and effective.

3 Ways to Think Before You Speak | Avoid Feeling Embarrassed While Speaking

You’re not considering the other person’s point of view.

We’ve all been in a conversation where we’re so focused on making our point that we’re not considering the other person’s perspective. And chances are, it didn’t go very well. When we’re not open to hearing other people out, we come across as closed-minded and inflexible. Worse, we risk missing out on important information or insights. 

It’s necessary to consider the other person’s point of view. That doesn’t mean you have to agree with them, but it does mean that you should try to see things from their perspective. Otherwise, the conversation will quickly become one-sided, and there’s a danger of offending or alienating the other person. So next time you’re in a conversation, take a step back and try to understand where the other person is coming from. It’ll make the conversation more productive and enjoyable for both of you.

Conclusion.

Conversation is a fundamental part of building relationships and connecting with others. However, to be an effective communicator, it is vital to avoid dominating the discussion and focus on listening, sharing ideas, and engaging with others. By practicing mindfulness, critical thinking, and awareness of your body language and tone of voice, you can develop strong communication skills that will help you connect better with others.​

Plenty of resources are available to help you learn how to have better conversations. For example, books and online courses can provide tips and techniques for improving your conversation skills. Some APPS and programs may also provide feedback and analysis of your conversations, which can help pinpoint exactly what you’re doing wrong. With a bit of practice, you’ll be able to have great conversations with anyone – and thoroughly enjoy them!

Author

  • Marcella Raskin

    Marcella Raskin is the founder & editor-in-chief. She is a passionate and articulate writer who has dedicated her life to studying human potential. She has studied Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Life Purpose Coaching, Group Life Coaching. She loves helping women (and men) explore themselves through writing, which allows for an exploration into one's thoughts on entrepreneurship or personal development topics such as mindset-shaping techniques that can positively shape someone's perspectives about themselves when they don't think it could ever happen! She practices sports and has studied Exercise Physiology. She is married and the mother of two girls.

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