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The One Conversational Tool That Will Make You Better At Absolutely Everything

Ask yourself: If you could interview like Walter Cronkite, would you get more value from your meetings? Would your mentors become more valuable? Would your chance encounters with executives in elevators and thought leaders in conferences yield action items and relationships? The answer is yes. “As someone who had little to no experience in business--outside of running my own one-man freelancing operation--all that's really saved me (so far) from madness are the skills I used as a journalist,” says Evan Ratliff, who wrote for magazines like The New Yorker before founding his startup, The Atavist. One of those skills, he says, is “being able to formulate questions that deliver useful answers, whether from advisors or clients or whomever.” Good questions can move your business, organization, or career forward. The problem is, most of us ask terrible questions. But we don’t have to. The following advice can make you a much better interrogator, not to mention conversationalist:

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Don’t Get Defensive: Communication Tips for the Vigilant - Mark Goulston by Mark Goulston | 12:00 PM November 15, 2013 When we get defensive, we make it that much harder for our conversational counterparts to hear what we’re saying. We also make it harder to really listen to what *they* have to say. Soon, we’re shadow-boxing, defending ourselves against attacks that aren’t real, and wasting energy — and relationship capital — on damage control instead of solving the problem at hand. Praise versus Encouragement Most of us believe that we need to praise our children more. However, there is some controversy regarding this point. If we always reward a child with praise after a task is completed, then the child comes to expect it. However, if praise is not forthcoming, then its absence may be interpreted by the child as failure. According to Naomi Aldort, "Children who are subjected to endless commentary, acknowledgment, and praise eventually learn to do things not for their own sake, but to please others."

How To Make Difficult Conversations Easy: 7 Steps From A Clinical Psychologist Someone is screaming in your face at the top of their lungs. Or ranting angrily and you can’t get a word in edgewise. Or maybe they’re sobbing so hard you can barely understand what they’re saying. We’ve all been there. These situations don’t happen a lot (thank god) but we all feel helpless when they do. And because they’re rare we don’t ever seem to get better at handling them. A scientific guide to saying "no": How to avoid temptation and distraction 2K Flares 2K Flares × Learning how to say no is one of the most useful skills you can develop I found, especially when it comes to living a more productive and healthy life. Saying no to unnecessary commitments can give you the time you need to recover and rejuvenate.

HOW DOES NONVIOLENT COMMUNICATION WORK? NVC offers many tools for connecting with others in ways that serve life. Nonviolent Communication can dramatically improve our relationships by helping us focus our attention on: Empathic understanding of others – without compromising our values, and Honest expression of our feelings and needs – without blame or judgment In NVC, we learn to hear difficult messages with compassion and to express ourselves authentically with the help of these four steps: OBSERVATION – what we observe that is affecting our well-being FEELINGS – how we are feeling in relation to what we are observing NEEDS – the values, dreams, and preferences connected to our feelings REQUEST – the concrete, presently doable actions we request in order to respond to our needs and enrich our lives

The Art of Rejection: How to NOT Give Out Your Phone Number Photo Credit Everyone recognizes how difficult it is to deal with rejection, but many overlook the fact that having to reject someone can be equally as difficult. In college, there are inevitably going to be scenarios where a guy asks for your phone number and you’re not interested. Allowing yourself to be guilted into giving out your personal information in order to avoid hurting someone’s ego is not the answer. Instead, try one of the strategies below to minimize the awkwardness the next time you want to withhold your digits:

6 hostage negotiation techniques that will get you what you want How does hostage negotiation get people to change their minds? The Behavioral Change Stairway Model was developed by the FBI’s hostage negotiation unit, and it shows the 5 steps to getting someone else to see your point of view and change what they’re doing. It’s not something that only works with barricaded criminals wielding assault rifles — it applies to most any form of disagreement.

Empathic Listening The Benefits of Empathic Listening Empathic listening (also called active listening or reflective listening) is a way of listening and responding to another person that improves mutual understanding and trust. It is an essential skill for third parties and disputants alike, as it enables the listener to receive and accurately interpret the speaker's message, and then provide an appropriate response.