Stop Talking and Just Listen: Conversation Etiquette

10 Dec

All day every day I listen to people on the phone and talking around the office.  It’s part of my job as receptionist/ website manager / customer service / everything-else-in-between person.  Sometimes my customers and co-workers make me laugh really hard and other times they complain, or talk my ear off and make me want to run in the other direction.  Having talked with THOUSANDS of people, I know good and bad conversation manners.  Here are five “Do’s” and “Don’t”  of conversation etiquette that I would like to suggest:




1) Listen. (Listening builds healthy relationships.)

2) Be forgiving.  Even if the other person is wrong, use forgiveness in generous doses.  I’ve tried it when I least felt like being forgiving or generous and I was rewarded in full. (Not to mention it reminded me how good it feels to be the bigger person in the situation!)

3) Don’t yell.  BECAUSE I SAID SO!  (Get it? 😉 )

4) Say “Please”, “Thank you” and “I’m sorry” with sincerity.  Those words don’t hurt.  All it hurts is your pride.  Get over it.

5) Use words of affirmation.  Affirmation is the best way to get the best results.  “You are so helpful.”  “Your experience is incredibly beneficial to our department.” “You have a great point!”  “You look beautiful!”  “You are enough.”  “You are making a huge difference.”  (Tell yourself words of affirmation too – you perform better when you believe in yourself.)



1) Don’t begin a conversation by insulting the other person.  Insults and rude comments only damage the conversation.  Focus on having a productive conversation.

2) Don’t dominate the conversation with your opinion.  Knowing when to listen and when to speak is key.  Sometimes all the other person needs is an ear to listen.

3) Don’t tell the other person all the things they did wrong.  They won’t want to try it again.  Instead, point out what they did right.  Ask them for their feedback.  There will be time later to have a conversation about how to improve next time.

4) If you know that the other person is really busy, don’t keep the conversation dragging.  Knowing conversation queues (when people begin to look around the room, check the time, move towards the door, etc.) you know that they are beginning to “check out” of the conversation.

5) Be concise with your words and don’t “Ummm, well, er uh” around.   Know what you want to say and state it with confidence.


“Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.”  -Proverbs 17:28


Keep it real!



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