Have you ever been in lazy conversation? Lazy conversations are ones where you realise the other person just isn’t trying, they’re just going through the motions and are not really interested in what the other person is saying. Even worse is one where neither of you is trying.
We have lazy conversations all the time with dentists, people randomly on a train; people who we have no real connection with but we feel we need to fill the awkward silence. It’s fine to do that if you want, the problem comes when you find you’re doing this in a situation where it actually matters.
What do lazy conversations look like?
So what does it actually look like in practice, well image you are talking to someone and they are asking you a series of questions about what you do, where you live or are from. These are exploratory questions where most people are looking for something that means that they can talk more about themselves. A way of turning the conversation onto themselves and what is important to them.
To stop lazy conversations from happening you need to go deeper into a topic or subject, allow the person to share more about themselves. Rather than looking for an opportunity to talk about yourself, look for opportunities to help other people talk more about themselves. Look for the tell-tale signs that let you know you have hit a topic of interest for that person and go with that, even if it means that you don’t get to share the interesting story about yourself or the witty insightful comment. Remember sometimes it’s not about you.
Why should you avoid lazy conversations?
Now the are lots of selfish reason why you should do this, the main one being that they become a much easier prospect to sell to when the time is right. However, the most important reason for acting this way is that you might actually make a genuine connection.
When you are self-employed it’s not always easy to make genuine connections, we spend most of our time working alone. The people that we meet we keep at arms length to protect ourselves and our business. We don’t easily make allies in what we do because we are fearful of making perceived enemies. I can understand that but sometimes you just have to take a risk.
So next time you are having a conversation with someone stop trying to find ways in which you can talk more but find ways in which you can listen better.