By Eric Barker
July 21, 2014

In The Art of Conversation: A Guided Tour of a Neglected Pleasure, Catherine Blyth gives some great tips on handling the subtle nuances of polite interaction.

Here are seven of my favorite bits:

 

How To Make Small Talk

Via The Art of Conversation: A Guided Tour of a Neglected Pleasure:

 

How To Make A Solid Introduction

Mastering the art of conversation has to start somewhere, so you have to know how to begin. Here’s a solid formula.

Via The Art of Conversation: A Guided Tour of a Neglected Pleasure:

 

How We Judge A Successful Conversation

Via The Art of Conversation: A Guided Tour of a Neglected Pleasure:

 

How To Make A Conversation Progress

Via The Art of Conversation: A Guided Tour of a Neglected Pleasure:

 

Great Conversationalists Listen More Than Talk

To help doctors be better listeners, their responses are graded from 1 to 6 with the “empathic communication coding system.”

The higher the number, the better.

Via The Art of Conversation: A Guided Tour of a Neglected Pleasure:

 

Two Powerful Pieces Of Advice

Via The Art of Conversation: A Guided Tour of a Neglected Pleasure:

  • Hear what people are really saying as opposed to what they are telling you.
  • Directness is a privilege of intimacy.

 

How To End A Conversation

There are a number of phrases that can politely signal the end of a chat.

Via The Art of Conversation: A Guided Tour of a Neglected Pleasure:

I would love to continue with this post, but I wouldn’t want to keep you.

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This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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