3 Tips to Be a Better Conversationalist | Problem Talk vs. Solution Talk

Updated October 6, 2023

As individuals, we always converse and talk with people from different areas of life with diverse understandings and backgrounds. These people could be relatives, co-workers, or friends. The conversation could be about a controversial topic, a way to resolve an issue, or the impact of certain behaviors. Whatever the conversation might be, we feel the need to contribute our opinions to the discourse.

Often, our opinions do not come out the way we want or are not accepted by the group. When this happens, do we allow the conversations to go on, or do we become loud and uncivil until everyone acquiesces to our point? Is there a better way to convey your point and have civil discourse? Luckily there is. It is by being a great conversationalist who understands and applies the rules of civil discourse.

Since communication is something we can’t do without in our day-to-day lives, it’s necessary to master it. Civil discourse is a valuable skill you will use for the rest of your life. Surely Philip Stanhope’s statement ‘whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well’ applies to it.

You should be able to master how to gear a discourse riddled with problems to solutions. How can this be achieved? By applying the guidelines needed to become a better conversationalist and by abandoning problem talk and mastering solution talk.

This is not reserved for our families and friends alone. Even in our workplaces, we can promote solution talk and improve conversations by applying civil discourse for business, mastering solution talk, and using great conversation guidelines.

Solution talk is an important tool in any great conversationalist’s toolbag. Solution talk focuses on finding ways to achieve the desired outcome and reduce the problem. It’s a conversation style that is interested in what the group wants to achieve and drives conversation towards attaining it.

Problem talk, on the other hand, is interested in discussing what the issue is. It tends to aggravate the issue at hand. Of course, understanding the problem is admirable, but the focus should be on finding solutions to those problems. To be a good conversationalist, you must have a solution-talk mindset and apply the guidelines below.

Tips for Becoming a Better Conversationalist

Better Conversationalist

You need to understand who a good conversationalist is before you can know and understand the guidelines to help you achieve that. A great conversationalist is someone that can carry on a conversation effortlessly. A good conversationalist thrives in all kinds of discourse, whether deep talks or casual discussions. This skill is valuable because we’re social beings, and conversations usually arise everywhere we find ourselves at work or in family circles.

Conversations are how we learn new ideas about the world, inspire others, promote creativity and even stimulate our brains. Through civil discourse, we solve problems better, engage our minds, and understand previously confusing concepts. At work, it leads to fulfilled work sessions and improved emotional health. A good conversationalist is looked upon as a leader, and their advice and opinion are sought on various matters. So what do you need to have to master this skill?

1. Have Genuine Interest

You can’t fake your way into this. You must be genuinely interested in the conversation and the person you’re conversing with. This way, your attention will not be swayed, and you will address the issues raised in the discourse as if they were yours. Additionally, the person you’re discussing with will feel more relaxed and tend to open up more if they see your interest in their opinions or problems.

2. Active Listening

For someone you’re conversing with to feel relaxed around you, they need to see that you’re paying attention to them. You can’t pay attention if you don’t actively listen to them speak. Active listening is the most important skill a good conversationalist needs. If you’re the type that hears but doesn’t listen, improving your listening skills is a good way to start.

To appropriately understand the issues being discussed, you must be patient and listen actively to the person you’re discussing. Active listening involves listening to the person, making eye contact, and replying suitably when needed. As a great conversationalist, you’ll do more listening and less talking. When you listen properly, you’ll gain the required information needed to make informed responses.

3. Acknowledge Others Opinions

When discussing with others, understand that they’re different individuals with different values and opinions. Respect those opinions, and don’t force your opinions on them. We all have opinions we feel strongly about. It’s a natural behavior. However, if you disagree with those opinions, do so politely and civilly. Do not dismiss their views as if they don’t matter. Be polite and respectful, and don’t assume a high intellectual table.

Final Thoughts

Conversations are what we must do every day, whether we want to or not. Therefore it is essential to learn how to be great at it and help people solve their problems. Being a great conversationalist involves initiating and making a discourse so interesting that everybody feels fulfilled at the end of the conversation.

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