Conversation skills can make life easier by enabling effective communication with others. These lifelong skills can help your child build and maintain relationships. Conversation helps resolve conflicts and navigate a variety of social situations. Good conversation skills can lead to exceptional academic and professional success. Effective communication skills improve cooperation and understanding among individuals, leading to better problem-solving and decision-making.
Here’s an easy mnemonic to remember the skills you want your child to master:
Connect with Cable, C-A-B-L-E
Why Cable? In 1877 the first copper-looped telephone cable was set up, reducing the noise over the phone line and helping people communicate. that is all fine and good, but why with landlines in decline, am I using the CABLE Mneominic? Because, while houses with landlines are disappearing, cable is being laid at an unprecedented rate. At this moment in time, an estimated 1.3 million lines cross the Atlantic ocean. These transatlantic cables handle an estimated 95% of our international communication and web traffic. So in the world of communication, C-A-B-L-E is still king.
So let’s help everyone Connect with C-A-B-L-E:
lead with CURIOSITY
Lead with curiosity, and follow up with questions. If you want to connect with another human, ask them about themselves, what they like and what they don’t like. Follow up and dig even deeper. When did you first try? Did you always like it? What do you do when you have to… There are lots of ways to Lead with Curiosity. Click here to find out more.
Show genuine interest, avoid dominating the conversations, do not interrupt, and don’t be judgemental. The skills we are practicing will enable your children to make conversations and connections. Understanding conversation etiquette helps garner a positive and respectful social environment where these conversations and connections thrive. Being nice supports these budding connections. Click here to find out more.
Body Language – There is more to our conversation skills than just our words. Body language is important, but it is essential when making a connection. Ask this question out loud: “Did you like that?” Now ask it again, but this time with your arms crossed and glare, “Did you like that?”. These two identical sentences have very different connotations. It is comfortable to cross your arms, but for many people, arms crossed means the listener is unhappy or uncomfortable with the current conversation. Are you smiling? Glaring> Are you staring off into the distance? These body languages give off a very different vibe than leaning in with an encouraging smile. Click here to find out more.
While having the conversation, pay attention and focus on the speaker. Show interest in what they are saying, and give feedback using Body language or comments. Sometimes even a grunt or a good “mm-hmm” keeps the conversation moving. Use paraphrasing to show you are listening and ensure that you understand. And ask questions to clarify opinions. Active Listening is an excellent skill on its own and important when making connections. Click here to find out more.
Eye contact is another crucial conversation skill to practice, ESPECIALLY with the current tendency to look at a device during a conversation. My generation is currently the most efficient multitaskers on the planet. I didn’t say we were good at everything; I said we were efficient. Generally, we can watch a show, text, listen to music and check the latest social media. But putting the phone down and making eye contact while listening to someone is essential to making lasting connections. It shows interest, enables active listening, and allows you, the listener, to see and read the body language of the person talking. Eye contact enables even further connection during a conversation. Click here to find out more.
I hope this mnemonic helps you remember these conversation skills. Please let me know if you have additional ways to help teens improve or practice their conversation skills. Just remember, Connecting is easier with C-A-B-L-E