Conversation: engaging, involves listening, both people mutually benefit and learn or feel inspired.
Chat: time wasting.
Sometimes a chat is needed to break into conversation (the English etiquette of mentioning the weather, i.e., something non-political), but mindless chat with no purpose wastes your time and takes away from you other more engaging or profitably activities.
This is something we can think about before we engage in a verbal response with someone. Are we waiting 'to have our say' because we have to make a noise, or are we interested in what the other person has to say (genuinely so)?
If someone just wants to make noise and flap and chat and get nowhere, excuse yourself with pressing matters. As Dan Kennedy proclaims, these are time vampires who will take your time and energy and you'll get nothing done!
Conversation - spontaneous or planned - should be enlivening.
When we read literature, we are engaging in The Great Conversation that has been taking place since humans first wrote things down. What a wonderful privilege that we can still enter a dialogue about people's thoughts who lived over two thousand years ago.
Two lovely books to peruse and learn from: