All this month I have shared with you information on improving yourself and your life for the New Year. I started by sharing with you my “10-Point Must” list regarding relationships, the “4&4 As Your Core” exercise, and I even gave you my “Double Triangle.” If you have applied the information thus far you should have a pretty good start on building a better YOU for this year. And since Valentine’s Day is less than a month away, I want to give you THE ideal item for any and all romantic relationships: Conversational Magic!
No matter if you are trying to use conversation to get a sexy new person interested in knowing you further, needing some quality skills for talking to someone of influence, or if you simply want to have richer more deep conversations with friends. We all know that the number one complaint in relationships seems to be either bad communication or “we hardly talk anymore.”
What if you were able to indulge in conversations that were a verbal adventure of the mind so stimulating that it lingers in your thoughts for hours…maybe even days? The kind of conversation where the moment it begins you find yourself drawn to the words and it is as if everything else around us just starts to melt away? Those kinds of conversations that last for hours as if it had a life of its own and having no regret as you realize that the night has flowed into morning. Would you be interested in learning how to have conversations like that?
I have a confession to make; I just used some conversational magic. From the “So what if…” onward, I intentionally tried to take you on a mental journey with my words. And if you found your mind drifting, imagining, then you have a taste of what the affect is when you use conversational magic.We all know that magic is not real; it is just a clever illusion. It is a deliberate attempt to move your senses in a certain direction. Would you also agree that some of the best conversations you have had can be described the same way? Have you, like me, enjoyed those conversations where your mind created images and scenes of what the person was talking about? And maybe now as you look back on those conversations you begin to get an “Oh, I get it now” feeling for a conversation that was incredible but you could not put your finger on exactly why. Well get ready my friend, you are about to learn how to give other people that same kind of enjoyable feeling in the conversations you have with them!
There is a popular rapport technique used in self-help seminars called “matching and mirroring.” This is when you casually mimic the other person’s body language. So for example if they are sitting with their left leg crossed over their right, the mirror of that would be to sit with your right leg crossed over your left. If they rub their left leg with their left hand, you rub your right leg with your right hand. Get it? Personally, I find it quite effective. But you have to do it right, or you end up looking like a damn parrot and it will be very obvious and possibly quite creepy! The way I do it is to do what I call “similaring.” I do something similar with my body language as they are doing with theirs. For example if they rub their left leg with their left hand, I might tap my right leg with my right palm. If they have their head tilted to their left, I might tilt my head to the right as I finish a sentence and then bring my head back to where it was.
You will know when you have successfully built solid rapport from doing this when you move your body and they do the same or similar movement. Cool, huh? Some people have felt that this is “sneaky” and “deceptive.” Personally I think it is a compliment since I am taking steps to have a good rapport with them instead of not giving a shit. But you can make up your own mind on how you feel about it. Now while the “similaring” is going on, you want to engage the other person in conversation by asking questions a certain way. I have a natural curiosity about people, have been that way since I was 5 and wondered what made people do what they do. So for years I have asked the question, “What is it about X that makes you feel the most Y?” So for example if a woman mentions to me that she is a receptionist at a loan office, I would ask, “So tell me, what it is about your job that you find the most fulfilling?” By asking such a question and asking it that way, she can not help but share a glimpse of what fulfills her. It is non-intrusive, yet powerful in learning about the other person. Okay, so here is one for women to try. Guys can use it too, but I want to give the women a gender specific one so they do not feel left out.
Let us say that a guy mentions a love for playing tennis. The typical thing you ladies might say to him is, “I play tennis too” and maybe “We should play a set sometime.” But by conversing in this way you are not learning much about him. But by asking him, “So what it is about tennis that you find the most fulfilling?” you get to learn not only what fulfills him with tennis but it also gives you clues as to what else might be fulfilling to him. These are called “probing” questions, which leads to much more enjoyable conversations than “yes or no” questions can produce.
Another question you might ask is, “So if you could travel anywhere on the planet right now, where would your ideal dream vacation be?” Then the follow-up question would be, “So let me see (the location they named) through your eyes. Why there, and what would you want to do while you were there?” The location they name is not as important as why they picked there and what they said they would do there, because it again gives you insight and clues into whom they are and what they like.
Having that kind of information is invaluable because it gives you ideas for directions to go in the conversation instead of trying to think of something to say. But most importantly, when you ask these kind of questions that reveal things about their likes and personality, they will reply using what I call their “power words.” These are words they like to use like “Spectacular” or “Fascinating” or “Challenging” just to name a few. And by knowing their power words, you can start to literally speak their language! So if they said, “I think it would be a nice and glamorous place to vacation” you now have their power word of “glamorous” to use later when it would logically fit in something you say. Do you follow me?
The final piece for Conversational Magic is to use very sensory rich descriptions in your conversations. That means using words that describe things in a way that causes the other person to see images of what you are talking about. Remember near the beginning of this article I spoke of a conversation with someone that “makes everything else around us just start to melt away.” In order for your mind to comprehend what you were reading that first time, you had to feel what it described. So “melting away” was the sensory rich part of the description. And after that I spoke of a conversation that “takes on a life of its own” and, “you realize that the night has flowed into morning.” The sensory rich wording being “a life of its own” and “flowing” as you may have already spotted. This is nothing that I invented of course, poets have used this technique for centuries to melt the hearts of maidens and maidens have used it to calm the beast in knights.
After you learn several of the other person’s power words, you can add them to your conversation as well as starting to use sensory rich descriptions in your sentences. Can you see how this method of conversation can not only make you someone people love talking to, it would also be nice to teach your boyfriend/girlfriend so you can feel the magic of it also. Above all else, for this to work you need to have a genuine interest in conversing with the other person. By having that genuine interest, your tone of voice will enhance this powerful set of tools.