While the following 10 tips, which Headlee lays out in her TED Talk, won't necessarily turn you into the next Oprah, they will help you become a better communicator.
1. Don't multitask. "If you want to get out of the conversation, get out of the conversation, but don't be half in it and half out of it," says Headlee.
2. Don't pontificate. A conversation isn't a forum where you should expect to express your opinion unchallenged.
3. Use open-ended questions. A question that can be answered with "yes" or "no" will be.
4. Go with the flow. Don't force a conversation to go where you expected it to. Adapt.
5. It's okay to say you don't know. Don't pretend you're an expert when you're not.
6. Don't equate your experience with the other person's. "If they're talking about having lost a family member, don't start talking about the time you lost a family member. If they're talking about the trouble they're having at work, don't tell them about how much you hate your job," says Headlee. "It's not the same. It is never the same. All experiences are individual. And, more importantly, it is not about you. You don't need to take that moment to prove how amazing you are or how much you've suffered."
7. Don't repeat yourself. "It's really boring," says Headlee.
8. Don't get lost in the details. People often don't care.
9. Listen. "Listen. I cannot tell you how many really important people have said that listening is perhaps the most, the number one most important skill that you could develop," says Headlee. "Buddha said, and I'm paraphrasing, 'If your mouth is open, you're not learning.' And Calvin Coolidge said, 'No man ever listened his way out of a job.'"
10. Be brief. A good conversation doesn't have to last all day.