On Being a Great Conversationalist
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On Being a Great Conversationalist

It has been more than fifty years since Dale Carnegie wrote his classic, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” In it he tells us six ways to make people like us. However, Mr. Carnegie is not the first to pass on such counsel. Paul beat him to it by 1900 years. In Colossians 4:6, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

So often when we listen to others speak we are not really listening to what they are saying, we are waiting for them to take a breath so we can jump in and tell our story or state our opinion. We want to look knowledgeable and we want others to listen to how wonderful we are. Paul would have us do just the opposite. We should be full of grace, thus making others shine. We should listen to them so we can ask them questions that would enable them to have the biggest fish story and the longest surgery scar. We should be the catalyst for another to stand out and never cut them off.

I know this is sometimes difficult, especially when our experience was wonderful. However with God’s help we can learn to be quiet. It is a rare experience for people to have others really listen to them. If we do they will be amazed at what a great conversationalist we are when we say little and let them talk. When we season with salt we use just a little. Let another be the main course.

Written by Roger Bothwell on July 22, 2003
Spring of Life, 151 Old Farm Rd. Leominster, MA 01453