“I never know what to say!!!”
One of the best things about Life Coaching … and ANY type of teaching, coaching and therapy actually, is you get to learn things about yourself.
Recently 3 separate people have contacted us about feeling shy or nervous in company.
It was a little different for each of them, but the common theme is that
‘one to one interaction feels OK’, and
‘groups of new people are terrifying’.
- “I never know what to say”.
- “I just clam up”
- “I just feel boring – everyone else has more interesting stuff to talk about”
It’s a REALLY common feeling.
We did some work on confidence with one lady, some hypnosis for anxiety for another and even accompanied one to a social event!
Those things were BRILLIANTLY effective
But subtle tweaks can change YOUR conversation game – immediately.
They are also valuable and simple skills to teach more timid children.
1) Open up your Questioning
Starting a conversation feels like the hard bit, so think of it like a game of volleyball.
The weather’s been awful hasn’t it.
Ooh these canapes are delicious, aren’t they?
And so on.
If your line of questioning ends with YES, NO or some other one word answer – It’s game over.
You’ve started well – but you need to keep the ball in play.
“If you could move to any part of the world where would it be – and what would you do there?”
“What’s was the favourite canape you ever had? Oh really where were you? Who were you with? Have you ever tried to make them? Do you enjoy cooking?”
Once you’ve started the conversation… the next bit is vital.
Keeping it going.
You’ve had a few volleys – the game is underway – and everyone has relaxed into a lovely conversation.
(The conversation return serve)
My particular listening crime was interrupting!
We are on the rather fancy-sounding ‘NLP Master Practitioner’s course’- feeling frightfully learned – when I was totally ‘called-out’ on interrupting.
It was completely true. A fair cop. Arghhh.
Rehearsing what I wanted to say and waiting for a gap big enough to say it in.
For interrupters like me and people more timid in company, listening – REALLY listening – is the key to great conversation.
Properly feeling empathy towards the person you are talking to:
Bring clearly to mind someone you LOVE talking to.
Feel that emotion.
Talk to them from that place.
Turn your heart towards them (not metaphorically – physically)
Lean slightly in.
Smile and nod (not like a mad person, but enough so they know that you are really interested in what they are saying).
When you slow down and really listen – conversation flows much more easily.
And remember – the other person very often feels as nervous as you.
So for great conversation (even if you are shy…or prone to interrupt)
- Be in the mental state for great interaction, by bringing to mind the emotion you feel from someone you love talking to.(they’ll feel that warmth)
- Have some great openers ready.
- Be ready to follow up.
- Show that you are interested.
- Really, really listen.
Watch how that social anxiety becomes a thing of the past.
Have a great day
Tanya & Claire x
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