Super engaging people have a way of pulling you in and making you feel like you're extraordinary. You find yourself looking forward to conversations with engaging people and feeling privileged when they spend time with you. Luckily, you don't need to be born with great engagement skills. Anyone can increase their engagement by regularly practicing these seven habits.
1. Eye Contact
Making more eye contact immediately improves your engagement level. Eye contact is a way of connecting with others and shows them that you are really listening. Avoid glancing around the room or at your cellphone. That behavior makes it look like you are trying to escape.
2. Active Listening
Engaging people know that listening is more important than talking. When you are conversing with someone, really pay attention to what they are saying. Don't think about what you are going to say next. Instead, follow up by appropriately paraphrasing the other person's message and asking for clarification if necessary.
3. Asking Open-Ended Questions
When there is a lull, ask open-ended questions that require long answers to move the conversation along. Conversations die quickly when you ask questions that only require a one- or two-word answer.
4. Willingness to Share
Although you don't want to overshare at the office, engaging people know that you have to share more of your own story to get others to reciprocate. If your co-worker is having a problem, hearing about a similar obstacle you have faced is going to help him open up. Practice showing others more of who you are and moving past small talk to deeper conversation topics.
Super engaging people seem to have an applicable and entertaining story ready to go for every situation. Even if you think your life is boring, it is likely that your own stories can be just as entertaining with the right delivery. To avoid rambling, start each story by telling why it relates to the topic at hand. Then stick to the necessary facts. Hold your audience's interest by choosing words that draw them in and asking questions. For example, "Do you want to hear about the strange thing I saw on the way to work today?" catches attention better than "Let me tell you about my commute."
6. Expressive Mannerisms
Don't play it cool. Let your emotions show on your face. Smile broadly at good news, and don't be afraid to laugh out loud when something is funny. Maintain an appropriately somber expression when sharing a sad story. Use your hands when necessary to better express your thoughts. Facial expressions and body language are another way to connect for better conversations.
7. Open-Minded Attitude
Judgment is a sure conversation killer. When you are talking to people, try to put yourself in their shoes and refrain from judgment while you are listening. Although a little friendly debate can be engaging, interruptions and continually questioning someone's thought process is not.
Learning to be more engaging helps you build a better network, get along better at the office and work better with clients. Super engaging people build connections and friendships with better conversations wherever they find themselves. Improve your engagement levels by practicing better listening skills, sharing more of yourself, and avoiding judgment for deeper conversations and a better professional life.
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