Don't interrupt or correct: rules of conversational etiquette

Alina MilsentLife
Rules of conversational etiquette

The American psychologist Albert Mehrabian has developed an interesting formula for communication: 45% of a person's impression is formed by speech - voice, words, tone, and the ability to express one's opinion. While most people have heard of conversational etiquette rules, only a few actually follow them.

You can conduct a short test to check your conversational skills: record an impromptu story on a dictaphone or video to identify any weaknesses that your conversation partners might notice. Share your thoughts on a book or movie or reflect on an event. OBOZREVATEL presents the basic rules of conversational etiquette that can help you improve your communication skills and boost your confidence in conversations.

The Slang Rule

In business conversations, it's essential to avoid slang, jargon, and puns. Instead, use simple and understandable language. Don't attempt to impress others with specialized terms that they may not understand, as this can make them feel uncomfortable.

The Rule About Correcting Others

According to etiquette rules, it's somewhat impolite to correct someone else's mistakes during a conversation. If you wish to address their mistakes, do so gently and at the right time or in private. Avoid loudly pointing out minor pronunciation or emphasis errors, especially in a formal setting with potential clients or colleagues. If the mistakes could harm a person's or company's reputation, find a tactful way to communicate this privately or attempt to pronounce the difficult word correctly yourself.

The Politeness Rule

Avoid interrupting others during a conversation. Even if time is limited or the discussion becomes emotional, refrain from interrupting. Allow the other person to finish their thought before presenting counterarguments.

The Uncertainty Rule

If you don't know how to respond to a question, it's better to remain silent. Avoid filling pauses with unnecessary words like "well... now... how to explain it...". Instead, say something like "This question requires further study" or "I need time to think about it" if you cannot answer immediately.

The Volume Rule

When engaging in a conversation, try to lower your voice slightly, about half a tone lower than your usual tone, especially when meeting new people. With strangers, it's better to adopt a soft, friendly tone.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL discussed several etiquette rules that are often unintentionally violated, including the practice of letting a woman go first - a rule that has exceptions few people are aware of.

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