Book of the Day - Improve Your Conversations by Patrick King
This book hit the spot perfectly. I regularly attend improv nights at the West Side Comedy Club in Santa Monica and have recognized how improv is a great benefit to communication. This book helped put specific details about why I felt improv was a conversation skillset while filling in the gaps of what parts of conversation you should focus on.
As a sales engineer, the fun part of my job is thinking on my feet in high stress situations. Being put under the gun by a Chief Security Officer who wants to know how my solution is better than a competitors and why it’s worth twice as much money. I enjoy when the customer challenges me, having to dig deep into my technical background in an instant to check if I know the answer. Many times it’s not a solution to a problem people are looking for, but an understanding that you are listening to them. I guess that’s why they sales is all about listening.
I’m not a great communicator, I’ll admit that up front. When I read books such as Improv(e) Your Conversations, by Patrick King it brings me back to something that we should count as common knowledge and not require a book; Yet it does require a book to remind us to focus on facial expressions, breathing patterns, your own feelings, and the words others are saying. Here’s an example from the book. If someone repeats that they are going on vacation to Mexico in a few months, that’s a good sign you could explore talking about Mexico to extend and deepen the conversation. It sounds obvious, but as communicators people are lazy. Listening takes work, as does conversation. It’s not a one way street.
There are many specific details this book provides to help you put a magnifying glass on your next conversation. It’s a book full of obvious things that we all neglect to do as great conversationalists.