Quality conversations are a necessary part of relationships, especially between family and friends. Conversations with those we care about can help us learn more about them and their lives. It also gives them a chance to get to know us better.
Moreover, conversations with our loved ones can provide us the opportunity to become more involved in their daily lives and activities, thus helping us build stronger bonds with them. This is especially important for the relational development with our spouses and children.
For many families dinner time is more than just a time to eat. It is also a time where family members can come together and talk about their daily experiences. However, table talk can be easier said than done for some families.
The key to establishing a conversation with a family member is to ask engaging questions and to listen to what the other is saying. For example, you might ask a child, “teach us something you learned today that we might not know. "
Many children enjoy this kind of opportunity because they want to share with their parents the things they learned. And the more the parent listens with genuine interest the more engaged the child might become.
Most of us have aunts and uncles, and all of us have a grandma and a grandpa. These family members, especially grandma and grandpa enjoy sharing parts of their lives with us. The older members of our families have so much experience to share with the younger ones and generally are more than willing to do so.
A good easy conversation starter for grandma or grandpa might be, “What was growing up like for you?" This is an especially good question for a younger person to ask.
Aunts and uncles also like to share parts of their lives with other family members. If you have a aunt or uncle that means your mom or dad was their sibling. This being the case that means your aunt and uncle probably has some wild, crazy, and maybe even funny stories to tell about their experiences with your mom and dad.
No matter how old you are an easy conversation starter might be something like, “So, what was your brother (or sister) like when you two were growing up?"
Most everyone likes talking about their experiences with their siblings. And through listening to those experiences you also learn more about your aunt or uncle, as well as their brother or sister.
Starting a conversation with a friend can be just as easy as starting a conversation with a family member, although you might not start it in the same way. We generally know family members much more intimately than we do our friends. But this is the whole point of having a conversation with our friends - to get to know them better.
If you have a friend who has a girlfriend or boyfriend, an easy conversation starter might be, “What is the (boyfriend or girlfriend) like?" Most friends who are involved in an intimate relationship with someone want, and sometimes even need, to share that part of their life with you, especially if they trust you.
Easy conversation starters with family and friends are easier to come up with than most of think. First and foremost, we already have an established relationship with these people.
Even if the conversation starter you choose to use is not something your friend or family member wishes to discuss with you, it's okay. The relational bond will remain because you are their friend or a part of their family.
Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert. He recently produced a very popular free report: 10 Simple Steps to Developing Communication Confidence. Apply now because it is available for a limited time only at: communication skills