If we master a foreign language well enough to use it in conversations, it would not hurt to be aware of several traps we could avoid if we took into account some aspects. Interpersonal communication refers not only to the spoken language or the words used by the speakers. In most cases, we send nonverbal messages through the expression of our face, our body language, our posture, the tone of our voice, etc.
When the spoken language is foreign to at least one of the speakers, communication problems may appear. The communication process can be permanently improved to make it easier for us to understand each other, to be able to express points of view clearly and to be able to understand exactly the messages the people around us are trying to convey.
The first thing to be avoided is the lack of attention. If we do not listen to the speaker, his/her message may not reach us and communication will not be achieved. When we begin to really pay attention, we will be able to identify a lot of derived subjects to inquire about later on. You should however not ask too many questions! Questions are useful but can rapidly become irritating, turning the conversation into an interrogation.
If you lack expressivity, there are methods to correct that. Slow down if you are too enthusiastic, because you tend to speak too fast and make mistakes. Speak loud and clear, without fear, to make you heard and understood. Try to convey emotions through your voice and tone. Use body language, gestures and face expressions to convey your state of mind to the audience.
Avoid being the center of attention all the time. All those involved in the conversation must equally become the center of attention. Do not interrupt a person telling a story only to draw attention to yourself. Find the right balance between listening and speaking.
Although you may be tempted, do not attempt to always be right! Avoid generating contradictory discussions just to prove you are right. It is all right to maintain your point of view, but you must also accept those expressed by others. Everyone thinks they are right and you will not impress anybody trying to always have the last word.
If you are at a party and you are not acquainted with many of the guests, avoid approaching unusual or negative subjects in your conversation. It is not recommendable to speak about your poor health, about bad relations, about your poorly paid job, serial criminals or any frightening subject that may deprive conversations of their positive energy.
Finally, do not contribute excessively to a conversation. Listen carefully to what the others have to say, ask questions and make pertinent statements. You will thus develop you own power of observation and learn something from each new subject approached.