1. Don’t be half in half out of the conversation. Be in it or out of it.
  2. Don’t pontificate. Stating an opinion without the opportunity for response, argument or discussion. Enter every conversation assuming that you have something to learn. Set aside your personal opinion. Everyone you meet knows something that you don’t. Everyone is an expert in something.
  3. Who, what, where, when, how? Let them describe it.
  4. Go with the flow. Thoughts will come and go.
  5. If you don’t know, say that you don’t know. Talk should not be cheap.
  6. Don’t equate your experience with theirs. If they’re talking about the time they lost a family member, don’t start talking about the time you lost a family member. If they start talking about the trouble they’re having at work, don’t start talking about how you hate your job. It’s never the same. All experiences are individual.
  7. Try not to repeat yourself. It can come across as condescending and it’s really boring. We tend to do it a lot in work situations and conversations with our kids.
  8. Stay out of the weeds. People don’t care about the minutiae. What they care about is you.
  9. Listen. This is the most important. • If your mouth is open you’re not learning – Budda and every Dad there ever was. • No man ever listened his way out of a job – Calvin Coolidge.
  10. Be brief. • A good conversation is like a mini skirt; short enough to maintain interest, but long enough to cover the subject. Be interested in other people. Everyone has some hidden amazing thing about them. Go out, talk to people and prepare to be amazed.