How to Bring `Value' to Your Conversations

by Eric Disco
Aug 20

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Lately, this one of the most common problems I notice in my advanced coaching clients.

In bars, he’ll interact with women like this.

He starts with some banter.

“You guys look like trouble. I can see what’s going on here!”

The girls laugh. Maybe he jokes a bit more.

Then he transitions into personal conversation.

“So how do you guys know each other?”

I see the same variation in meeting women during the day.

He starts off with an innocuous question and then a few follow-up questions.

“Do you know how to get to a Chase ATM?”

“Can you tell me whether it’s open on Saturday?”

Then he transitions into personal conversation.

“I get the feeling you’re not from around here.”

This format of interaction can work. You will get into interactions with women at times using this.

But there’s a big problem.

In these types of interactions, you’re counting her to bring `value.’

What do I mean by `value’ in this context?

Value can be understood as an interesting conversation topic. Something to talk about.

In these interactions, you are putting the onus on her for the conversation to be interesting.

That means the conversation will be either interesting or boring depending on her response.

If you ask these girls how they know each other, they may give you a really interesting answer–or a boring one.

“We actually met each other when we were doing volunteer work in Haiti.”

This is? interesting. I would like to ask her more questions about her experience.

Or she may provide something boring.

“We work together at Macy’s.”

Yawn.

Now what do we talk about? Do we keep asking them questions until they provide something else interesting?

This type of interaction makes her feel like you’re ungrounded, swimming in the ether.

It seems like you’re hopelessly looking for a girl with an interesting life whom you can latch onto.

The Alternative: Talking about Yourself

Instead, the way to bring value to an interaction is to have interesting conversation about yourself ready to discuss.

This can take the form of:

  • Simple I-Statements. You are prepared to make statements about yourself. “I went biking this weekend…”
  • Storytelling. This is a longer form of an I Statement where you tell a short story.
  • Opinion questions. Ask them for an opinion on a topic. Much like a story except that you get their opinion at the end.
  • Interesting conversation questions. You can bring value to an interaction by asking them more interesting questions than name-from-do (what is your name, where are you from, what do you d0). For example, “How did your parents meet?”
  • Turning the conversation back to you. By continually focusing on her, she starts to feel like the focus is too much on her. You can simply ask her to guess what you do.
  • Have a good answer prepared for when she asks what you do. When she does ask what you do, you can have something good prepared to talk about rather than a one-word answer.

When you have something prepared to talk about, it allows you to lead the interaction instead of asking her to lead it.

It shows that you’re confident talking about yourself and who you are. You demonstrate to her that you have an interesting life worth talking about.

Doing this the first few times may feel awkward for guys. They want to be more `natural.’ But that awkwardness is a fear of sharing things about themselves, of taking risks.

This doesn’t mean you always have to tell a story at the beginning of an interaction. If she offers value right away, feel free to talk about her for a while.

The problem comes in when you feel like you need to talk about her in order for the interaction to be interesting.

She can sense that and it bores her to death.

Instead, go in prepared to have an interesting conversation whether she’s interesting or not.

If she’s not interesting at all, it will come out eventually.

But either way, you’re bringing your own value to every conversation.

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posted in Rapport Skills

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