Some tips on how to ensure your dinner conversation runs smoothly:

Here are some guidelines for you to keep in mind during any conversation:

  • Listen to understand—to expand your insights, to see differences and similarities, to learn.
  • Speak to share and inform, raise or answer questions, offer an insight, help focus the discussion, state an opinion.
  • Keep it inclusive—share the airtime, encourage everyone to join in, avoid dominating or interrupting.
  • Search for deeper meaning. Look for core needs or values underlying people’s feelings.
  • Offer and ask for specifics rather than generalizations.
  • If the conversation gets hot, with interruptions and excited repartee, consider using a 'Talking Object' to slow things down.
  • Ask for a time out if the conversation seems to be fragmenting, confusing or chaotic. A moment of silence can be helpful.
  • If stuck in disagreement or debate, respectfully acknowledge your differences and change course to explore underlying assumptions, differing information, beliefs, values, etc.

Go forth and chat! Need some tips? Let's chat!

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