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Techniques > Conversation techniques > Elements of the Conversation > Including

Description | Example | Discussion | See also



Including involves bringing in other people and information into the conversation.

Including others

Inclusion of others may by active, deliberately asking them to join in. It may also be passive giving of signals that others are welcome. A typical way this is done is to leave space in a partially-formed circle. With two people, this means standing at an angle to one another rather than being directly facing the other person.

Including information

Inclusion of information will naturally occur when others are included. It may also be deliberately done to widen the discussion. Information included may be facts, opinions or open ideas that invite further discussion.


That's an interesting idea. Let's ask Mike...Michael, what are your thoughts about this?

I think we need to widen the field of exploration here and include considerations of future strategy.

And what other forces are at play here?


Conversations may be held between a few people when there are many others around who are not engaged. When people are talking together, those others may feel it would be impolite to join in. They may also fear rejection if they try, so they look elsewhere. They may also not be particularly interested, for example if they are distracted by conversation elsewhere. Hence they may be deliberately excluded, accidentally excluded or they may exclude themselves.

A person's desires for inclusion may be seen in body language where they pay attention and point their body towards the conversation they want to join.

Including others can be a simple social act that brings people together and increases social bonds. Including is the opposite of excluding and shows interest and concern for others. There are also benefits in the ideas and support that may be gained from other people. We often exclude others because we fear they will object or derail our plans. This may sometimes be true, yet not including them can make things worse as they take subtle revenge for being excluded.

Including additional information broadens the conversation, though it may also complexify it and confuse others. Before adding more detail, think first about how it may be helpful and how it may cause problems.

See also

Using Body Language, Building Rapport, Steering the Conversation

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