Listening for ‘hooks’ will help you keep a conversation going. Here’s is a guide on how to do it

Do you often get stuck in the middle of a conversation?

If you frequently find yourself wondering what to say after a conversation has suddenly died, you should keep reading. For many people, keeping a conversation going is extremely difficult as they panic, lose themselves inside their heads, and become overcome with anxiety. The reason behind these intense feelings is that even though they want to keep talking, they do not know what to say.

Listening for hooks when the other person talks can help keep a conversation going. 

Hooks are the little things that people say which you should catch and use to continue a conversation. It is through listening for these hooks and latching onto them that you can successfully turn small talk into a proper, meaningful conversation. Take the following case in point: 

You are speaking to a coworker and they ask you, “What did you do this weekend?” You reply and then ask them the same question. In response to this, they say: “Not much, I had to cancel plans I had made with my dad because of the rainy weather.” At this point, you have two options: to nod and let the conversation trail off or to catch a hook and inquire further. An example of catching a hook would be asking, “What were you and your dad going to do?” In asking this, you are ensuring that the conversation does not unexpectedly come to an end.

Take care to not only ask questions but to also speak about yourself.

If you catch a hook and turn it into a question every single time, you may begin to seem like you are interrogating the other person. In other words, you can catch a hook and turn it into a conversation about you. Taking the previous example further, if your coworker says that they had to cancel plans with their dad, you can strike up a conversation about your own father. An example of this would be saying something like, “It’s nice to be able to spend quality time with your father – my dad and I usually go cycling together every Saturday.” In this way, you are keeping the conversation going while also offering them a hook to catch; that is, they could talk about cycling, sports, parents, etc.

Ultimately, hooks are important to both sides of a conversation.

To sum up, when you are on the listening side of a conversation, try your hardest to listen to hooks which the speaker is giving you. Similarly, ensure that when you respond, you also throw a hook for them to catch. Before you know it, your small talk will turn into a deep and meaningful conversation and it will require little to no effort for you to keep it alive.

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