December brings with it the opportunity to connect with friends, family, acquaintances, and coworkers with the excuse of celebrating the holiday season. While some may look forward to these festive gatherings, others may find it a real challenge to muster holiday cheer. This got me thinking about how we could improve our experience regardless of where on the spectrum we fall.
Whether socializing with people we see frequently, or some we may only visit with at this time of year, there is something beyond exchanging gifts or sharing a meal that we will all do.
While we can’t deny the pleasure we get from a delicious home-cooked meal, or the latest gadgets Santa may bring, conversation is really what sets the tone and defines our experience at these gatherings. Many would say that good conversation is essential to a fun evening, yet so rare.
In my experience, people aren’t listening to learn more about you, but instead waiting for a break when they can steer toward their own agenda . The worst is when someone asks you something that you have just mentioned. But listening is only one factor in the magic recipe for good conversation. I found a wonderful TED Talk by Celeste Headlee on “10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation”. If you only heed one or two of her suggestions, you and your guests will be that much closer to making your holiday experience more engaging, and perhaps even more cheerful.
What pointers resonated with you?