Monday, May 5, 2014

Conversational Doubles

Sometimes you are not just playing singles in conversation.  Group conversational dynamics can be challenging to those who prefer to listen while a group is discussing a subject.  However, the best doubles conversation is when everyone is participating in the play. The most important skill in this conversational setting is determining when to play or interrupt the conversation.  This can be very uncomfortable for the passive tennis player - the player who prefers simple volleys.

My hint for group conversational play is to anticipate and raise your voice level.  Aggressive conversationalist will interrupt and use louder voices to take the ball in flight.  Here is where speed is important.  Simple short interjections of discussion will provide adequate participation and let those around you know that you are interested in participating in the discussion. 

Try things like:

(1) That's interesting .....   (if you have time you can add "Tell me more")
(2) That's happened to me before .....
(3) I agree ......
(4) Joe (another player in the conversation), do you think that .......
(5) How about you .... Joe

You can even be the conversational hero and save the extended volley discussion by recognizing the subject is about to be hit into the net - and save it with another round of energy.

If you don't participate in the discussion, you appear bored by the others and soon will be edged out of the attention.  Be a active group player at all times.

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