Conversational Etiquette

no advice needed

 In any conversation, organizational or otherwise, people tend to overuse one particular rhetorical tool at the expense of all the others. People’s default mode of communication tends to be advocacy— argumentation in favor or their own conclusions and theories, statements about the truth of their own point of view.

- A.G. Lafley, Procter & Gamble former CEO

Encourage Better Phone Etiquette With These Propaganda Posters

Assertive Enquiry, from Farnam Street blog explains that in any conversation, organizational or otherwise, people tend to overuse one particular rhetorical tool at the expense of all the others: advocacy for their own point of view. But we should aim for ‘assertive enquiry’, in which you think to yourself, “I have a view worth hearing but I may be missing something”.

The 23 Best Ways To Handle A Text From The Wrong Number. Our landline exists purely for emergency purposes, which means any calls are either from telemarketers, scammers from ‘Microsoft’ or wrong numbers. I actually have more empathy for the criminal scammers in India than for people who fail to apologise for dialing a wrong number. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

How Well Do You Listen? A Simple Trick also from Farnam Street blog (well, it sounds easy). In short, listen with the intent to agree.

The etiquette of conversation has changed in the classroom. It’s no longer okay for the teacher to do all the talking. (And in my own experience that’s not what’s happening in classrooms today, despite what’s portrayed on TV.)

Shit People Say to People Who Care About Shit is, as it sounds, a list of cliches everyone should probably avoid.

Just because you stick please onto the end of stuff doesn’t mean you’re not dishing out orders, from The Dish. This reminds me of certain parents who insist their children use please and thank-you after every demand. This is such a full-time job that it’s easy to neglect other conversational etiquette, such as not butting-in to a conversation or saying mean things about others.

Avoiding slurs is not about sanitizing language, from Social Skills For Autonomous People

“Please don’t call me that” is not the same as PC or censorship at Freethought Blogs is written by someone called Tauriq who finds often that people can’t be bothered to learn how to pronounce his name. I, too, have a slightly unusual name — not Lesley, not Lyndsay, not Lucy, not Stacey — and I’ve always found it a good barometer of character, whether someone gives a shit about me as a person or just wants something, based on whether they can get my name right. My name is one of those which doesn’t stick well in the head. I don’t know why. It has too many l’s, true enough. You’d be amazed at how often a facial expression says, ‘I have no idea what you just said your name is and frankly that’s ridiculous’. It was worse for me living in Japan, the land of no l’s, which gives me some empathy for those who are permanently foreign.

How To Find Out What Someone Really Thinks is a tip from Psych Central. In a nutshell, ask someone what they think everyone else thinks.

Do Your Two Girls Make You Want to Have a Boy and Other Stupid Questions at Dads & Families and Top 5 Things Not To Say To A Pregnant Woman Over 40 from Mommyish

Here’s an interesting thought: Is there any such thing as constructive criticism?

15 Things You Should Never Say To An Atheist from Patheos

How not to respond to a sexual assault story from Skepchick

Things We Should Say More Often (a video) — although I’m no fan of corndogs. Nutritionally. But the right thought is there.

Wait Vs Interrupt Culture from Less Wrong. “When you’re done talking, the conversation is out of your hands. This can be frustrating at first, but with time, you learn to trust not your fellow conversationalists individually, but the conversation itself, to go where it needs to. If you haven’t said enough, then you trust that someone will ask you a question, and you’ll say more.”

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