What makes a good conversation?

Transcript item

Jo: Hi, everybody. I'm Jo and I'm talking to Jonathan today. And we're talking about good conversations. So, Jonathan, what makes a good conversation for you?
Jonathan: Er, I think for me, like, one thing that's really important is that, like, people, er, like, when I'm talking with somebody, we really listen to each other, I mean, like, really listen and we don't, like, talk over each other. I don't really like that when, like, I'm trying to say something and somebody, like, talks–
Jo: Yeah–
Jonathan: on top of what I'm saying, and then, er, I feel like I can't say what I really mean. Maybe they're not really listening to me. I don't really like that, so, I like it when people really, like, listen to each other, you know?
Jo: Yeah. I like that too. And actually I think, to do that, you need to leave a bit of space and not be panicking about what you're going to say next. A little bit of thinking time.
Jonathan: Yeah, a little bit of silence is not a problem, right?
Jo: Yeah, exactly. And I think – I like that too. Maybe this is a personal thing, because other people might say they like it to be more fast and reactive and spontaneous, but for me, when people talk really fast and there's no space in the conversation, erm, I feel a bit like I have no thinking time so I don't know what I want to say. I just feel, like, a pressure to say something. So the quality of the conversation, kind of, goes down.
Jonathan: Yeah, it's a bit stressful, isn't it?
Jo: Yeah, yeah. It can be. So, is there anything else for you or is that the main thing?
Jonathan: Er, well, I've got a couple of other things too. I like to get to know the person a bit more. So if the conversation means that maybe we share a bit more about our history or our experiences or our jobs, or, you know, our likes, things we dislike. Er, yeah. I like finding out more about other people and then also letting them see a little bit more about me as well. That way, I feel like we can, kind of, know each other a bit more. Yeah. Is that something that's important for you?
Jo: Yeah, I think that's a really nice way of putting it. And I was, actually, I was listening to a podcast the other day about listening skills and one of the questions that they suggest to ask yourself to evaluate if the conversations you're having are good or not is about have I learned something about the other person? And I think that's a really nice way of thinking about it. It's about sharing things with other people and learning about them. So, yes, I like that one.
Jonathan: That's interesting. I like that question.
Jo: Yeah I do find–
Jonathan: How about you?
Jo: Yeah I think just recently because I've been thinking about it because we were preparing this topic, erm, the first thing I thought was, oh, if we're recording a video about conversation skills, then I feel, erm, I feel the pressure for the conversation to be a really good-quality conversation, erm, but the more I think about it, I think that listening, and active listening, erm, is so important for a quality conversation and to feel like you're connecting with the other person.
Jonathan: Yeah, I know what you mean, yeah.
Jo: OK, well, let's see if, erm, our learners agree. So, we'd like to hear from you. What are the ingredients of a quality conversation for you? And we'll see you later on.
Jonathan: Yeah.
Jo: Thanks, Jonathan.
Jonathan: See you. Thanks, Jo.

In this video, Jo and Jonathan talk about what makes a good conversation.

Conversation helps us connect with other people. It helps us get to know people, work together, form friendships and stay close to the people we love. 

But conversation is not always easy! And not all conversations make us feel seen, heard and understood. 

So what makes a good conversation? And what can we do to have better conversations? See if you agree with Jo and Jonathan and tell us what you think in the comments below.

What do you think?

  • What makes a good conversation for you?
  • Do you have any tips for better conversations?


Average: 4.6 (5 votes)
Profile picture for user Yerikhoable

Submitted by Yerikhoable on Sat, 02/09/2023 - 16:29


The key to quality conversation is willingness to give undivided attention to the person we are talking too. Distractors such gadget, television, reading material like newspaper etc should be keep at bay while we are engaged in a conversation otherwise they will make our interlocuter feel neglected.

When listening to others we should show our active participation by using conversation fillers to keep the conversation going.
When talking to others we should ensure that they get our points.

Submitted by HadeelKR99 on Fri, 01/09/2023 - 17:39


What makes a good conversation is being a good listener and if you didn't understand anything you should ask politely the person who taking to you to explain what he means
That helps you bitter understand and helps you to answer and expand in that conversation , because sometimes asking questions open other topics that related to that conversation.

Submitted by Jorge Leonel on Fri, 01/09/2023 - 16:08


Yes, I agree too. On top of that in this website has a 6 tips for a good conversations.
#1-Think 'communication';
#2- Check understanding;
#3- Keep it simple;
#4- Repeat things;
#5- Aim for intelligibility;
#6- Work on your pronunciation - it's a doble win!

Submitted by maher.rashed on Sun, 27/08/2023 - 12:27


From my point of view a good conversation should be related to the good listening and not to think in responding while you are listening you should be totally focused and not to try to judge somebody.

Submitted by bahadirdmrkn on Fri, 18/08/2023 - 09:25


There are three things that we need to know a good conversation. First thing is that we should need to respect each other. We should show respect to other person’s opinions and ideas. The Second thing is that we really need to active listening to other person what they are telling to you. And the last thing is some silient moments can be happening and these silient moments are part of good conversation and we should not feel stresfull.

Submitted by ebaeb25 on Thu, 17/08/2023 - 09:12


I think good conversation , must be each listen carefully and give a chance to listen to avoid miss understanding , but any way, even it is weak it is very important to keep in touch with others cultures ,habits and ......

Submitted by bucha1958 on Thu, 10/08/2023 - 08:40


Yes i agree with you, a good conversation entails being able to speak and listen to other people talk

Submitted by carmencitasoto4 on Thu, 03/08/2023 - 00:32


I am agree. I like to take a thinking time to talk,so, i can make better answer and i like when a person takes a time to answer. Of course first we should pay attention each other

Submitted by Igor'S on Wed, 19/07/2023 - 18:35


A good conversation is the best way for each to understanding people and our world together. When we're listening - we're thinking. When we're thinking - we're living.

Submitted by Abdallah elareiny on Wed, 12/07/2023 - 21:18


To practice the language and make conversations with others everyday

Submitted by Su Khaing on Wed, 12/07/2023 - 18:15


In order to be a quality conversation, we must pay attention what others person say, eye contact, and respect each others.

Submitted by sardar.najafi98 on Wed, 12/07/2023 - 17:01


I think to be a good speaker, we have to talk about different situations with our friend's family members in English,
we have to learn more useful words to use them in our speaking.

Submitted by mariagrazia.floreani on Thu, 06/07/2023 - 11:20


For me a good listener is not always a good conversation partner. We need empathy, respect, a desire for mutual knowledge and a great desire to question ourselves.

Hi mariagrazia.floreani,

Perhaps you're right ... it's not just about listening carefully, it's more interactive than that. Good conversation involves switching from listening to speaker and back again all the time.

Was that your idea?


LearnEnglish team

Hi Jonathan
I am agreeing with you, a good conversation need boh listening and active paticipation. Also in my opinion for an active conversation the matter of the subjct is also important to make sure both parties are interested in the subject.

Submitted by brunafavari on Wed, 05/07/2023 - 15:45


I agree with Jo and Jonathan. For me a good conversation will be always with respect, no matter the topic.

Submitted by ılhan_35 on Wed, 05/07/2023 - 14:41


According to me have 2 options for perpect conversions.
First, depen on your conversation body ,partner etc
Second, interested in your vocabulary and memorarization
Because conversation is dialogue not monolog

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Submitted by hejianan1986 on Wed, 05/07/2023 - 07:04


oh, yes, I agree both of them and I really don't like that one's speaking and one's focusing his/her phone when we talking, there's no respect.

Hi hejianan1986,

I know what you mean. Briefly checking something on a phone isn't a problem, but if it goes on for too long, I don't like that too much.

Do many people who you talk to do that? Hopefully not too many!


LearnEnglish team

Submitted by anarella on Wed, 05/07/2023 - 03:21


For me a good conversation is about active listening, respecting the point of view of others and being open to hearing different opinions, and it must be something positive adding value.

Submitted by Amal_nasr 66 on Tue, 04/07/2023 - 21:45


I agree with both of them. We should respect each other to make good social relationship.

Submitted by Amal_nasr 66 on Tue, 04/07/2023 - 21:44


I think to make a good conversation we should learn a lot of languages, Traditionals and cultures of people.

Submitted by ezgito on Sun, 02/07/2023 - 18:43


I agree with them and I would like to add something as extra. I think it is important to be understandable. While you are talking about something, the listener doesn't have any idea about the topic. The listener should ask to the talker that what does it mean. Sometimes shy away from saying I don't know. We can't know everything. And so, I prefer to ask if I don't see the thing.

Hi ezgito,

It's a good point. A conversation is a two-way communication so I think it's a good idea to ask questions if something is unclear! It makes the conversation more interactive.


LearnEnglish team

Submitted by Maanan51 on Fri, 30/06/2023 - 17:30


I suggest to remember the other person's name, because whenever you meet again them and you constantly repeat the name, it could be a nice compliment and the person would feel important.

Submitted by ccafrax on Fri, 30/06/2023 - 16:11


Hi everyone,

For me good conversation is the one with understanding each other.
Good conversation must have mutual listening and speaking with understandable words and phrases, good conversation must have mutual respect between the talking parties. Talking together at once can be barrier to the understanding and the conversation.

Submitted by Luiscarza on Thu, 29/06/2023 - 00:03


Hi, everyone
For me, a good conversation consists in listen carefully and be interested in the person with you are talking, and tell the other people what you think or how you feel about the topic you are talking about, be honest and, of course, the other one needs to be honest too.
Obviously, you need to feel comfortable with the other person.

Submitted by IvanMyanmar on Mon, 26/06/2023 - 18:56


i agree with you. To get a better conversation we need to listen actively and show our empathy to other. Then we can share more and get closer each other.

Submitted by tubaozger on Sat, 24/06/2023 - 22:49


it depends according to extent of people's intimacy .

Submitted by elsamani 2023 on Sat, 24/06/2023 - 16:11


Hi everybody
I agree with you to improve your speak and listening in the conversation . Watch movie and read newspapers and listen to radio channels in english

Submitted by louissssss on Thu, 22/06/2023 - 13:44


i'm agree with this idea of a bit space in a conversation but i don't think that space is always neccesary in a conversation. Like when you talk with your bff or bf you don't really need this space because you normally fell good with her/him. In otherwise when you meet new people that you don't know. To make acquaintance you need this space in the conversation.

Hi louissssss,

I agree with you. Depending on the relationship we have with someone and how we are both feeling and acting in a specific conversation, we may not need to give so much space because of how well we know each other. When my good friends and I are really having a good conversation, it's often quite quick this way.

Other times I've found that I need to be more careful to listen well. For example, when a friend of mine was going through a divorce, I felt it was important to give him more space so that I could be sure I was really listening to him.

Has that ever happened to you?

Best wishes -- Kirk
LearnEnglish team

Submitted by aamir.iftikhar.hr on Tue, 20/06/2023 - 13:19


For me, listening with full intention makes good conversation.

Submitted by Abhi1986 on Mon, 19/06/2023 - 21:30


What I am thinking about this is that the best conversation needs to listen to others carefully and when you speak then you should speak slowly and clearly.

Submitted by Amani141112 on Sun, 18/06/2023 - 05:44


everyday active skill listings is good

Submitted by Amani141112 on Sun, 18/06/2023 - 05:35


I thank God for talking

Submitted by JANITHIL7 on Sat, 17/06/2023 - 04:23


Well, I believe that a good conversation is all about whether you can break the ice with the other person you talk with and both feel comfortable to continue the conversation or develop a desire to meet again for a chat.

Submitted by Romibur on Wed, 14/06/2023 - 14:20


Hi everybody, as an international journalist, it's so important for me to listen what the person saying not only because I have to write an article about it, but also it allows me to formulate new questions. I have to be honest and say that sometime I interrupt my interviwees, and I need to change that.

Hi Romibur,

That sounds like a very interesting job. Do you mainly carry out your interviews in English? What sort of people do you interview?

Best wishes

Jo (LearnEnglish team)

I do journalistic job as well and to be pefectly honest I do more interviews through the internet now and it is helpful when I can see the other person. Then I can see whether the question I asked is a difficult one or if the person tries to hide the real answer.

Submitted by Emesfin on Wed, 14/06/2023 - 07:33


For me a good conversation is; conversation between two or more people. On their conversation they have to listen each other and give a chance to each one to express themselves. And in addition the topic have to be interested to the participants.

Thank you

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Submitted by Forsakenx on Tue, 13/06/2023 - 19:41


Im not rly wanna repeat after all of you, guys, But personally I think here is the more important things than listening and speaking skills. I mean understanding of topic, when u pretty sure that you talk with our opponent about one SUBJECT. I have a sense it's a huge trouble of our world, especially if we talk about internet-conversations in which u are not able to see true emotions of your partner, his reaction etc.

Submitted by masuma_320 on Mon, 12/06/2023 - 07:41


I think good conversation for me means that two or more people have the same interesting topic.

Submitted by jloomiranda on Sun, 11/06/2023 - 16:46


A conversation is really interesting when people really listen to you and let you know by asking or making opinions about what you are talking. Also what makes a conversation a useful and productive interaction is the knowledge that we get and the opportunity to learn more about others.

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Submitted by Kamal Haider on Sun, 11/06/2023 - 14:19


According to my opinion, conversation should be clear and understandable for both person. Good conversation is based on bilateral approach. When two persons talking to each other, both should be responsive. Silence of any person leads to bad conversation.

Submitted by Herzon.Chu on Fri, 09/06/2023 - 09:50


What makes a good conversation for you?
To have a good conversation, there should be a give-and-take approach. You really need to respect someone you are talking with and vice versa to avoid conflict with the flow of communication and misunderstanding.

Do you have any tips for better conversations?
Active listening is essential in the conversation to digest the information very well, and being assertive to ask questions for any clarifications needed before giving out your opinions or sharing any factual statements or advice with someone.

Submitted by Arafat Sipu on Fri, 09/06/2023 - 07:43


Conversation goes well when both person listen each other word carefully. Either one can't express his or her word properly, another one should not criticize or ignore of opponent speaker. By speaking with other whatever one say either right ot wrong it can improve communication skill gradually. So people have to communication with other regularly over their inertia.

Submitted by muyanik on Thu, 08/06/2023 - 10:36


To write a comment in this area is a kind of writing exercise that is an effective method for imprving writing skill.

A good conversation is an interaction that happenig in a respectyfull comminication environment, all speakres try to understand each other and can state the own ideas freely. A good conversation shold be include listening and emphaty, asking questions, opening to critisism, respect and tolerance and etc.
A conversation having these features provides a great environment for new ideas and strengthening of relationships.