How to Be the Most Interesting Person in a Conversation
Have you ever noticed that some people are natural communicators and conversationalists? They are the ones that can talk to anyone, engage them and create a connection. It might surprise you that while this may come natural to some people there is a “science” to it and by activating a different part of your brain you too can easily create connections and build your network.
Caroline Webb, a world renowned economist and and leadership coach recently shared we all have a “two-brain” system “The “deliberate system” and the “automatic system.” “The latter (automatic) is largely subconscious and what we normally use in conversation. It’s the deliberate system that’s a game changer if we know how to tap into it.” People can only process a certain amount of information at any given time even if they are master multi-taskers. In a social situation, we are subconsciously sorting and filtering out an enormous amount of what might be happening around us to focus conscious attention on just a few things. The first thing you can do is to steer clear of negative stereotypes and judgments of people before we engage with them.
Have you ever noticed that going into a conversation with someone you don’t know very well is that your brain tends to pre-judge them? If we pre-judge for example someone is not nice or worth speaking to, our brain looks for everything to validate that theory. To get your deliberate brain system to work Webb suggests to always say to yourself “What are my intentions as I go into this conversation?’ Whatever is top-of-mind for you will shape what your brain decides to notice the good, the super-interestingness of that person. That is a fantastic foundation for building a rapport,” says Webb.
3 Tips to Being Super Interesting
1. Be interested in the other person
Be determined to find something interesting about the other person, something that you may have heard in the conversation that may be a fascinating fact or idea that you can follow up on with interesting questions of your own.
This means activating the genuine curiosity within you.
Several studies suggest that curious people have better relationships, connect better, and enjoy socializing more. In fact, other people are more easily attracted and feel socially closer to individuals that display curiosity.
Be Interested and You Will Become Interesting.
2. Focus on the rewards, not the threats
One limitation in our brain is that it’s constantly scanning the immediate surroundings for “rewards to discover and possible threats to defend against.”
If your brain is only focused on the threats (a defensive mechanism), you’re taking on negative stress in the moment. Overcoming your nervousness will allow you to focus on the positive intention and not your worries.
3. Ask genuine questions
It’s not a secret: People love to talk about themselves. So let them. By drawing attention to them and their story, you ultimately become the interesting one and the person they feel connected to which in return allows them to be open to learning more about you.
When asking questions, quality counts. If you’re starting with the quintessential (and boring) conversational starters “What do you do?” and “Where are you from?” make sure to follow up with much more compelling questions and real attention-grabbers: “Oh, what made you choose to live there?” and “What is it that you most like about the job that you do?”
As you engage using these 3 tips you will not only engage in conversations with greater easy but you will be able to make a deeper connection with someone and build relationships that will help grow your social and business networks.