How to Find Common Ground in a Conversation With Someone

By Joanna Perez

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Finding common ground with someone you don’t know very well can be difficult. Even more, if that person is a complete stranger.

But it’s not impossible! In this blog post, we will discuss some tips for finding common ground and building rapport with the people you meet.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to connect with others more easily and have more meaningful conversations.

Start with a common interest.

Start with a common interest

One way to find common ground with someone is to start with a shared interest. This could be something as simple as discussing a mutual love for a particular type of music or talking about a hobby you both enjoy.

If you can find something you both care about, it will be easier to build a rapport and have a meaningful conversation.

Some possible topics of conversation to find common ground could be:

  • Concerts.
  • Recipes.
  • TV shows.
  • Books.
  • Cities you’ve visited.
  • Music you’ve been listening to lately.
  • A new restaurant you’ve tried.
  • Your pets.
  • A recent trip you took.

Remember, the goal is to find something you both have in common to connect on a deeper level.

Be curious about the other person.

Another way to find common ground is to be interested in the other person. Ask them questions about their life and what they like to do for fun.

People love talking about themselves, so showing an interest in them will make them more likely to open up and feel comfortable talking to you.

Some questions you could ask include:

  • What do you like to do for fun?
  • How did you get interested in (topic)?
  • Who are some of your favorite people to follow on (social media)?
  • What’s your favorite food?
  • What’s the best trip you’ve ever been on?

By asking questions and being curious about the other person, you’ll be able to find things that you have in common and get to know them on a deeper level.

Be open-minded.

It’s also important to be open-minded when trying to find common ground with someone.

This means being willing to listen to their point of view and considering their perspective, even if you don’t necessarily agree with it.

By being open-minded, you’ll be more likely to find areas of agreement and build a stronger connection with the other person.

When you’re open-minded, you:

  • Respect the other person’s opinions and ideas, even if you disagree with them.
  • Are willing to learn about new things.
  • Are flexible and adaptable.
  • Are less likely to make assumptions.
  • Don’t judge others based on your own biases and beliefs.
  • Try to see both sides of every issue.
  • Accept that people can have different opinions from you without thinking less of them.

If you can be open-minded when talking to someone, you’re more likely to find common ground and have a productive conversation.

Take the time to find out what you have in common with the other person, and you’ll be able to connect with them on a deeper level.

The beauty and complexity of finding common ground | Matt Trombley

Avoid hot-button topics.

If you want to find common ground with someone, it’s best to avoid hot-button topics that are likely to cause disagreement. These topics can include religion, politics, and other controversial subjects. Instead, stick to neutral topics that both of you can agree on.

Be respectful.

Being respectful is essential when trying to find common ground with someone. This means listening to what the other person says and not interrupting them. It also means not talking over them or speaking condescendingly.

If you’re respectful of the other person, they’ll likely be more receptive to finding common ground with you.

Listen More Than You Talk.

One of the best ways to find common ground in a conversation is to simply listen more than you talk.

You may be surprised at how much you have in common by giving the other person a chance to share their thoughts and experiences. Listening will also help build rapport and make the other person feel valued.

Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood.

Seek First To Understand Then To Be Understood

One of the most important things to remember when trying to find common ground in a conversation is that it’s necessary first to understand, then to be understood.

This means that you should focus on understanding the other person’s point of view before explaining your own. Only once you have truly understood where they are coming from should you try to explain your own point of view.

You can’t find common ground if you’re not first trying to understand the other person. This is important because it will help to avoid misunderstandings and miscommunications.

Repeat what you heard them say to ensure understanding.

Once you think you understand where the other person is coming from, it’s important to repeat back what you heard them say. This will help to ensure that you’re on the same page and that there are no misunderstandings.

It can also be helpful to paraphrase what they said in your own words. This will help to further ensure understanding and avoid any confusion.

Additionally, repeating what the other person said will show that you were listening and value their thoughts and experiences.

Look for areas of agreement.

Once you’ve listened to the other person and repeated back what they said, it’s time to look for areas of agreement. This is where you’ll find common ground.

Start by looking for any points that you agree with. Even if there are only a few small things, these can be used as a starting point to build upon.

From there, try to expand upon these points of agreement. If you’re having trouble finding areas of agreement, try looking at the situation from a different perspective. This can help to give you a new perspective and allow you to see things in a different light.

Respectfully disagree when necessary.

Seek First To Understand Then To Be Understood

There will be times when you won’t be able to find any areas of agreement. In these cases, it’s important to respectfully disagree.

Even if you disagree with the other person, you should still respect their thoughts and experiences. Avoid getting into an argument or debating the other person. Instead, try to simply state your own point of view and then move on from there.

Remember that you don’t always have to agree with the other person to find common ground. Sometimes, simply respecting each other’s points of view is enough.

Take turns talking.

Another critical thing to remember when trying to find common ground is to take turns talking. This means that each person should get a chance to share their thoughts without being interrupted.

Allowing each of you to share your thoughts in an uninterrupted way will help to ensure that everyone feels heard and respected. It can also help to provide a more balanced conversation.

Balance is vital in conversations because it allows each person to feel like they have a chance to contribute. When one person dominates the conversation, it can make the other person feel like they don’t matter.

Therefore, taking turns talking is an important step in finding common ground with someone. It shows that you respect their thoughts and want to hear what they say.

If you need time to think about your response, say so.

If you need time to think about your response, it’s perfectly fine to say so. This shows that you’re taking the conversation seriously and want to give a thoughtful response.

It can be tempting to try and come up with a quick response, but this can often lead to saying something you don’t actually mean. If you need time to think about your answer, it’s perfectly acceptable to say so.

This will help ensure that you don’t say something you might regret later. It also shows that you’re taking the conversation seriously and want to give a thoughtful response.

So next time you’re in a conversation and feel like you need some time to think about your response, don’t be afraid to say so. It will only help to improve the quality of the conversation.

Identify what the other person wants.

One of the best ways to find common ground in a conversation is to identify what the other person wants.

If you can understand what they’re hoping to achieve, it will be much easier to find a middle ground that both of you can agree on. To do this, you must listen carefully to the other person’s words.

Try to identify the underlying reasons for their position. Once you know what they want, it will be much easier to find a compromise you can agree on.

Finding common ground | Brian Wiley | TEDxFSCJ

Avoid attacking or insulting the other person.

In any conversation, it’s important to avoid attacking or insulting the other person. This will only escalate the situation and make it more difficult to find common ground.

If you feel like the other person is being unreasonable, try to explain your point of view calmly and respectfully. It’s important to avoid attacking or insulting the other person, as this will only make the situation worse.

By remaining calm and respectful, you’ll be more likely to find common ground in the conversation.

Be patient – it may take time for the other person to open up.

Finding common ground in a conversation can be challenging if the other person isn’t forthcoming with information.

If you struggle to understand their position, be patient and encourage them to open up. It may take some time, but eventually, they should give you the information you need to find common ground.

By being patient and persistent, you should eventually be able to find common ground in the conversation.

End on a positive note.

End on a positive note

When trying to find common ground in a conversation, it’s important to end on a positive note.

This will leave both of you feeling good about the conversation and more likely to find common ground in future discussions.

Ending positively also allows you to build rapport with the other person.

Rapport is important in any relationship, but it’s crucial in relationships where you’re trying to find common ground.

Conclusion.

In conclusion, finding common ground in a conversation with someone can be difficult, but it is possible. It involves active listening, being open-minded, and being willing to compromise. With these skills, you can find common ground with anyone.

What are some of your tips for finding common ground in a conversation? Share them in the comments below! And if you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends!

Author

  • Joanna Perez is a Certified Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Practitioner, a passionate blogger, writer, traveler, wife, and mother of one boy. Joanna loves to share her thoughts on parenting, health, wellness, and lifestyle. She is a Certified Women Empowerment Life Coach and has done courses on Life Mastery, Happiness, Health, and Success. She also has studied Neuroscience for Parents and took the Skilled Helper Training Course. She believes in helping people become the best version of themselves and strives to provide quality informative and inspiring content. She loves animals, especially her two cats, and can often be found taking photos of them as they pose for the camera.

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