you ever had the experience of being somewhere outside the home, with
many people but no one you know (perhaps in the grocery store, shopping
mall or big box); and someone calls your name. . . or a child's voice calls "Daddy or Momma" and you turn because you think they are calling to you?
Whether they are calling to you or not there usually is a very intimate
feeling, a sense of closeness and familiarity if only for a brief
moment. If strangers that are not even addressing us can
move our emotions in a fraction of a second with no such intention,
imagine how we can influence others when we are joined in intentional dialogue.
How do you wish to leave someone feeling about themselves whenever you engage them in casual conversation? If you desire to leave others feeling better about themselves, more understood or inspired, then there are some easy skills you can use to incorporate into the conversation by focusing your intent. Your intent is much more important than your technique. In fact, not being too polished is usually interpreted as being genuine, original. So use your natural personality and incorporate some of these easy skills into your next conversation.
- Address people by their name. It has been said that hearing one's own name is the sweetest sound on earth.
- Genuinely smile at the person you are addressing. This is the most powerful thing you can do to make someone feel good about the discussion they are having with you. It is hard to smile when you are feeling stressed, so relax and have confidence that you know what to say and do and just be yourself.
- Seek first to understand the person and their perspective. When people feel understood they extend trust to the one that does the understanding. If you can leave someone feeling understood, you have created a strong relationship based on trust.
- The greatest conversational tool is the question. Make some mental notes about possible topics to ask someone about (for example: the primary purpose you are both together, explore their hobbies away from work, and family).
- Get comfortable with silence. Don't rush the conversation because there is dead-air. Letting someone talk at their own pace and cadence instills comfort.
- Flattery will get you everywhere. A sincere compliment makes people feel good about themselves and by natural law associates you with that positive emotion. Look for areas that you think are important to them, register with you (eye of the beholder) as worthy of praise, and perhaps not so noticeable to the masses. Compliments about their children or their friendliness towards others will make an imprint . . . if genuine.
- Do use gestures. People like to see the real person, so be aware and use body language to fully communicate.
- Exit gracefully. As Momma use to say "don't wear out your welcome".
I'd like to thank friend and Career Success! Partner, Jim McBrayer, a regular contributing expert to our blog site, for his excellent tips and ideas on improving our conversational skills. Effective conversation is an important personal branding element that will set you apart and create a lasting positive impression.
Jim's insights, ideas and wisdom on the subject of Selling and Negotiating -- both of which are key Career Success Skills -- will hopefully resonate with you in your journey to achieving incredible career success.
Co-host, Career Success Radio Show
A leading authority on career success; 15-year executive coaching veteran
Contact: Andy@CRGLeaders.com, 239-285-5575