If you dread small talk, Hollywood producer, filmmaker and author Brian Grazer says the easiest way to having a meaningful conversation with someone without really trying is to practice empathy.
Sometimes chatting with an acquaintance, new friend or even family members you've known all your life can be difficult. You want to ask the right questions and show genuine interest in what the other person has to say, but it's often easier said than done. The key to breaking through and having a natural, real connection with someone, says Grazer, is to really open yourself up and place yourself in that person's shoes. If you can clearly imagine what a person is feeling, thinking or experiencing, you can be a better partner in conversation.
Watch above for Grazer's do's and don'ts when it comes to genuine, meaningful communication.
Brian Grazer is an Academy Award-winning producer and
New York Times bestselling author of A Curious Mind. He has been making movies and television programs for more than 25 years. Grazer’s films and TV shows have been nominated for a total of 43 Oscars and 158 Emmys. In 2002 he won the Best Picture Oscar for
A Beautiful Mind.
Other film credits include
Get On Up, Rush, J. Edgar, Frost/Nixon, American Gangster, The Da Vinci Code, 8 Mile, Apollo 13, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Liar Liar, Backdraft, and
Grazer credits his success to his lifelong curiosity, courage and willingness to have conversations with total strangers. In his book,
A Curious Mind, he explores the power behind everyday conversations and how we can use our curiosity to live a bigger and better life.