Ten Conversation Hacks for Gathering Information, Getting People to Like You More, and Avoiding Workplace Drama

We often underestimate the value of a great conversation, as well as the ability to maintain one. And that’s really quite surprising, considering how our 24/7 world can’t exactly seem to stop talking.


Granted, communication can be difficult. A lot of things go unsaid, are misinterpreted, or are plain ignored.


Get it right, though, and magical things can happen. How often have you watched someone obtain precious information, get out of a parking ticket, or coax people into letting them have their way with little more than the gift of gab? Amazing, isn’t it?


Guess what, though? There are a few hacks you can apply to manifest a silver tongue, so to speak:


  1. Use compliments to avoid workplace drama.
  2. Use compliments to avoid workplace drama  

    Conflicts might be unavoidable in the workplace, but you can avoid getting suckered into them via some well-placed compliments. For instance, if your co-workers come to you complaining about a colleague, opt out by complimenting that person. (e.g., “Yeah, but X is quite good with customer service, isn’t s/he?”)


    As a bonus, complimenting people behind their back is a sure-fire way to win respect and acceptance among your colleagues.


  3. Silence is key.
  4. Silence is key  

    ….when trying to get information, that is. If you ask someone a question and find them hesitant in replying, wait a bit. (Maintain eye contact though.) They’re likely to relent after a beat, and possibly even spill more than they meant to.


  5. Find common ground during an argument.
  6. Find common ground during an argument  

    This will help you push your point more successfully. You do need to listen actively to pull this off, though.


    In other words, you can start off by acknowledging any truth in what they said. Once they start to relax, respectfully segue into your side of the conversation. You’ll either win the argument or maintain a positive interaction regardless.


  7. Deflect having to answer tough questions with a simple compliment.
  8. Deflect having to answer tough questions with a simple compliment  

    Ah, compliments. They really do smooth a lot of things over.


    Let’s say you find yourself addressing a crowd and fielding their questions. Then, out of nowhere, someone throws you a tough one. How do you react?


    If you’re stuck, deflect. Go with “That’s a really good question,” perhaps praise their critical turn of mind, and so on. They’ll probably be too pleased with themselves to notice whatever answer you come up with afterwards.


  9. Call people by name.
  10. Call people by name  

    This is especially effective when you’re dealing with people in the service industry. Not only is it a basic courtesy, but it also shows that you see them as people, and not just as cogs in a machine. Provided that you do so politely, this will make them more likely to prioritize your requests or concerns.


  11. Never underestimate the power of two small words.
  12. Never underestimate the power of two small words  

    “Thank you.” It’s such a basic concept, but you’ll be surprised at how many adults neglect it. Whether it’s your long-suffering mother or a bank teller, most people appreciate being appreciated. Make sure they feel that way when you’re around, and then reap the rewards of plain old good will.


  13. Speaking of “Thank you,” it gets you further than “Sorry.”
  14. Speaking of “Thank you,” it gets you further than “Sorry.”  

    How do you avoid over-apologizing? Say “thank you” instead. If you arrive late, say “thank you for waiting.” After putting a customer on hold, say “thank you for your patience.”


    And if someone apologizes to you, thank them instead of saying it’s okay (especially when it’s really not). This acknowledges their efforts to make things right, while opening up a conversation about how they made you feel.


    Ex. “Thank you for apologizing. I really didn’t like it when you said those hurtful things.”


  15. Throw a toddler’s questions right back at him/her.
  16. Throw a toddler’s questions right back at him-her  

    “Why is the sky blue?” “Why is your hair brown?” “Why do we close our eyes when we sleep?”


    Toddlers seem to go from their first word to their “why” phase really quickly, eh? While it can be cute, it also gets old really fast.


    When you’re out of answers or patience (whichever runs out first), throw the question back at your child. (e.g., “What do you think?”) After they provide feedback, simply nod and then move on.


  17. Make people feel needed to get them on board.
  18. Make people feel needed to get them on board  

    “I need your help” can surprisingly make someone more eager to help you out. People like to feel essential in making a difference, and giving them that opening can open doors for you as well.


  19. Say “You’re right” instead of “I know.”
  20. Say “You’re right” instead of “I know.”  

    This applies to when someone tells you something that you already know. You would still be confirming what you knkow, but without coming off as a pompous know-it-all.


Good communication skills can prove useful in so many ways, whether in job interviews or simply getting people to like you.


Now, go forth and see where the aforementioned tips will take you.

Serena Estrella

Serena joined Remit back in 2016, and has tormented its Marketing Head constantly ever since. To get through the rigors of writing about grave concerns like exchange rates, citizenship requirements, and PH-AU news, she likes to blast Mozart, Vivaldi, ONE OK ROCK, and Shigeru Umebayashi in the background. She does a mean Merida voice in her spare time too.


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