LOL, EOD, BRB, TY, YW. These might be how we communicate in a text-, email- and social media-obsessed world, but they don’t make for high quality conversation — the type you need for strong, mutually beneficial and mutually profitable relationships.

Conversation is the bedrock of relationships. Without them, our relationships are devoid of substance. Unfortunately, we live in a world with more and more email and less and less talk. People don’t have the time — or believe it necessary to make the time — to have real conversations with one another. If you want to create truly beneficial relationships, stop emailing, walk away from the computer and connect with someone one-on-one via really great conversation.

Here are 3 reasons for re-mastering the art conversation:

1. It’s the glue of strong relationships.

You can email someone regularly, but it’s only through actual conversation that a bond with them can really strengthen. Think about this in terms of your own professional life.

Who do you trust more, the wholesaler you meet with a few times a year or the one communicates strictly via email? Sure, you might enjoy doing business with both of them, but when it comes right down to it, your relationship with the wholesaler you see is probably stronger.

2. It’s the only way to “see” what someone is saying.

Face-to-face conversation is the only way to take in the total message of someone’s speech. It allows you to take into account inflection, emotion and physical gestures along with the words. It also allows you to show the other person that you’re listening and truly value what he has to say.

3. Your body language helps you to communicate your message.

Your alert eyes and facial expressions indicate you’re following what the other person is saying. A simple nod of the head or “uh-huh” tells her that you’re really listening to what she has to say.

If you’ve lost your appreciation for the art of conversation, it’s time to reopen that door. Behind it are stronger relationships, more opportunities and a more satisfying way of conducting business.

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