People who have deeper conversations are happier than those who stick to the surface. People sometimes wonder about what they should say to make real conversations happen. It is actually less about what you say and more about the environment you create.
Today, without putting the pressure on yourself to have a meaningful conversation, just give some of these suggestions a try: spend more time in one to one conversations than in groups. Groups can be fun but often conversations go to things like who is doing what at the office or some other topic that is superficial enough to not freak people out.
Listen without feeling the need to respond. Often when we think we are listening we are just waiting for our turn to speak. Listen in a way so that you will be able to remember what they said. Then actually think about what they said afterwards because that makes it more likely that you will remember.
Eliminate the likelihood that you will be distracted: plan enough time so you don’t have to rush off immediately. Don’t have your phone in your hand or on the table. Switch off the sound and the vibrate function.
Everything we do speaks silently to other people: one to one time means that you think they are important enough to spend time with. Listening means that you value their perspective. And ruling out distractions says “I don’t want this flow to break unless the conversation has run its course.”
Good luck building lots of little pockets of trust.