Imagine you could read minds, know exactly what to say and how to say it, turn every conversation into a connection. Would you be unstoppable? What if I told you, you can?
Welcome back, Explearners. Ever wondered why some people can strike up a conversation with a wall and make it interesting while others seem to lose even their own attention? What if I told you that your communication style could be a game changer? You're just a few tweaks away from becoming that person everyone wants to talk to.
Today we're diving into the fascinating 2020 study by Thomas, McDuff, Czerwinski, and Craswell. It's all about the expression of style in information seeking conversations. And trust me, it's a goldmine for those seeking social fluency.
Ready? Let's go.
This study identified two main styles of conversation. Namely, the checkers and the browsers. Let's see how understanding and applying these styles can enhance your social skills.
Checkers are direct and goal oriented. They ask specific questions to get the information they need. For example, at a networking event, a checker would say, "Can you tell me about your experience in project management?" They get right to the point, which can be very efficient.
Then we have browsers. Browsers are exploratory. They let the conversation flow naturally, often leading to unexpected and interesting topics. Going back to our networking event example, a browser might say, "So, how did you get into your line of work?" It's open ended and invites the other person to share more about their journey.
So, how can you use these styles to your advantage? Here are some strategies you can start using today. Strategy 1. Flex your style. If you're a checker, try being a browser in a casual setting. If you're a browser, practice being a checker in a more professional context. This helps you adapt to different situations and people.
For example, you're meeting a friend for coffee. Instead of asking, "So, what's new?" Try, "How was your trip to Greece?" That's a direct checker question that shows interest in their life. Strategy number two, practice active listening. Regardless of your communication style, showing the other person that you're genuinely, truly interested makes a huge difference.
Nod, smile, ask follow up questions. Make them feel heard.
Let's say a colleague mentions they're swamped with work. Instead of moving on, you could say, "That sounds tough. What project is taking up most of your time?" That's active listening in action. So listen well.
Strategy number three be conscious of your tone and body language. Communication is much more than the words we utter. A welcoming smile or a gentle tone can make the other person feel comfortable, encouraging them to open up more.
For instance, if someone shares a personal story, lean in a bit, maintain eye contact, and respond in a warm tone. It signals that you care about what they're saying.
Now we know practice makes progress, so how about trying these strategies in real time? At our Explearning Academy community, we offer multiple live workshops each and every week where you can practice communicating.
Not only does this decrease anxiety, but it also boosts confidence, helping you reach social fluency faster.
And remember, every conversation is an opportunity to learn and grow. So, let's get talking.
That's all for today, Explearners. Make sure to hit that "like" button if you found this lesson helpful, and subscribe for more tips and tricks on mastering communication and social skills.
Until next time, keep exploring, keep learning, and Happy Explearning!
Thomas, P., McDuff, D., Czerwinski, M., & Craswell, N. (2020). Expressions of style in information seeking conversation with an agent. In SIGIR '20: Proceedings of the 43rd International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval (pp. 1171-1180). New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/3397271.3401127