What is National Conversation Week?
Sometimes we get lost in our phones, whether it be social media, texting or emails. Occasionally, we get so engrossed that we forget how to speak to people in our day to day lives – without resorting to memes or funny pictures. Although there is nothing wrong with that, it can be nice to have a conversation that is not made up of emojis and gifs. National Conversation Week is designed to help us embrace talking to our peers in a more meaningful way or a different way to how we normally would. I am guilty of keeping conversations with my friends going just by sending funny videos and pictures. By the end of the conversation I have often not learnt anything about how my friend is doing or shared anything about my own day. That is why this week I am aiming to reflect on each of my conversations and how they have benefited myself or somebody else.
How can I improve my conversations?
Edge Hill offers free access to LinkedIn Learning which is a website that lets you do courses in a variety of topics such as time management, leadership skills and how to have successful conversations. There are a range of short courses centred around conversations and you can even get a certificate at the end of it!
If you want to take your learning further there are plenty of TED talks on the art of having meaningful conversations.
I found the TED talks to be very insightful. There is one called ‘10 ways to have a better conversation’ which I enjoyed very much. Celeste Headlee put an emphasis on the importance of face to face conversations, taking the time to listen to people as well as being open minded and kind. Why not put it to the test? You might be amazed by all the exciting things that you learn about people and the world.
The benefits of National Conversation Week
- It gives us a chance to reflect on how we converse with people and give meaning to our interactions
- We can learn new tips and tricks on how to improve the quality of conversations we have
- It could help improve relationships with family and friends
- The skill of conversation is important when making new friends at university
- It can also help us communicate better and in a clearer way with our lecturers and personal tutors
Some tips on how to have good conversations:
- Be polite
- Ask questions. This will encourage the person to go into more depth and to help you have a clearer image of what they are trying to communicate
- Do not be afraid to say you do not know or understand something. Bill Nye said, “everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t”. This is a useful tip to keep in mind
- Go into conversations with an open mind. If you start every conversation with the mentality that your mind will not be changed, then you will not learn anything, nor will the conversation be helpful
- Listen – this may seem obvious, but how many times have you found your mind wandering during a conversation?
You can still use your phone!
National Conversation Week is not about trying to reduce people using their phones and other devices. These are important for keeping connected in a modern world. Perhaps you’ll feel inspired this week to have more meaningful conversations with your friends, and try to have more face to face conversations.
Written by: NATASHA TAPERA
2nd Year BA Counselling and Psychotherapy
Student Advisor for Library & Learning Services