Ever wonder how to have a great conversation with other women? To learn from them and fill the solemn silence with laughter? Today I'm sharing the things that have helped me have great conversations that later turned into friendships because, let's face it - I wasn't always great at it. I have been traveling since my early 20s, and I realized early on that conversation was key to ANY situation. So I took communication courses, went to public speaking classes, and even networked endlessly to practice. What am I saying to you? You don't have to do any of this to have great conversations with women, but there are some lessons I picked up along the way.
Six tips for great conversations:
1. Listen - Cliché? Maybe! I will share, however, that most people never listen and miss the little cues. Every woman has her own set of barriers when it comes to conversation. Some are more private, and some prefer to talk about almost anything. When you genuinely listen, you will better understand the individual you are conversing with by what they tell you.
2. Find the door - In my experience, every woman will tell you how much or little they want to share with you. Every sentence is a door and an opportunity for conversation topics. I have been a coach for some time, and finding "the door" to conversations was probably one of the skills that helped my clients feel comfortable with me. When you talk to anyone about things they are already interested in, the conversation is smoother and builds trust. Say you ask me how my day was, and I respond with, "Crazy but good, my dog made a mess in the yard." I gave you a door in one sentence - I shared I have a dog, and I live in a house with a yard.
3. Exchange experiences - It is easy to dismiss my previous statement and jump right into getting to the point. Such as "let's talk business" and skip the small talk, but here is an unwritten rule to doing business with women. We prefer to do business with people we can trust, and building relationships it's a start. I will share that these relationships have flourished and turned into friendships in my years of business. This is the part where you dive into your life and share a personal note "I too have a dog, and he makes a mess too. Have you tried toys? They tire them out sometimes". Commonality creates a base for conversation and leaves room for different exchanges.
4. Embrace the weird - Not always, but sometimes I hear the most astonishing things from ladies I meet during my travels. I used to be afraid of diving into the conversations out of fear of how deep they could go. These stories will connect you, and while it might feel a little uncomfortable, I'd like you to remember that we were mainly raised to be silent - we don't live there anymore, embrace it! With that in mind, I met a sex therapist on one of my flights to Europe, and she uttered the strangest things I've ever heard. She was hanging up as she was boarding the plane, and as she sat down, she said, "I simply don't understand women that get infections from men that can't even give pleasure" I couldn't resist the laughter and truthfully took the risk of engaging in conversation. We met in 2017, and until this day, we still share some laughs from time to time. She also educated me about female pleasure, which later helped me connect with my sensuality (a story for another day). Never be afraid to explore conversations when there is a door!
5. Ask questions - Surely, you've been in a relationship or two, and you understand that the feeling of not being listened to, well, it's annoying. When we take the time to ask a follow-up question to something that was said, it gives the other person a sense that we are engaged. Curiosity is also a good way of looking at it, and since it's shared, it is open for exploration. Remember this - people never share things they don't want to talk about.
6. Share the uncomfortable - I have to admit that I was always in my head when having conversations; "Where is this going," "what will she say next," "How do I respond," "should I share that?", and the list goes on. I no longer have this problem, but if this is your girlfriend, take a deep breath and take note. Being yourself is priceless and will be more genuine in any conversation. Don't think about it too much; express yourself in a way that feels authentic to you. Trust me when I say she is just as nervous as you, and sometimes acknowledging it takes the pressure off. While in Indiana, I met this remarkable woman, an author! I girl-fan over authors; I guess it's because I find their wisdom invaluable. So I flat out said in one of the conversations, "I've never talked to an author before; I feel a little out of my element." We looked at each other and laughed; this was the beginning of a beautiful conversation.
Bottom Line: Remember, we are all souls guiding each other to our unique paths. When talking to other women, in the words of Elizabeth Lesser, "embrace your power"! Listen, find the door, exchange experiences, embrace the weird, ask questions, and share the uncomfortable. Building genuine relationships is no easy task, but having a great conversation is an excellent start to finding your new besties. Let me know how it goes!