Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Favorite Communication Tips

Here are my favorite communication tips:

Smile more. It's amazing how much you'll benefit from that easy, superficial change: People will like you more, and you'll be more relaxed.

Put yourself in the shoes of the listener. Would what you're about to say elicit the desired effect?

Tip for establishing eye contact: What's his eye color? Does her eye area look kind or mean? Eyes are a window to one's soul.

To build connection, your responses should move toward the person: a clarifying question, supportive example, even playful teasing.

Keep your utterances to 45 seconds or less, then ask a question or shut up--No need to fill the silence.

In most conversations, talk a bit less than 50% of the time. More than that, you risk being viewed as egotistical, a blowhard, or too chatty.

Anecdotes persuade.

Don't confuse tact with timidity. Sometimes boldness is required.

Even if you need a lot from a person, perhaps ask for just a small piece. That cuts the risk of overwhelming the person and getting a "No."

"The first thing a man will do for his ideals is lie." Joseph Schumpeter, eminent 20th century political scientist and economist.

Secure people will accept and maybe even appreciate constructive criticism, but everyone loves earned praise, especially about something they feel insecure about.

When interviewed or giving a talk, you may be tempted to use a script. Don't! It leaches the crucial chemistry.


Anonymous said...

Here are some particularly effective words & phrases that I've found to be helpful:

To make a suggestion/offer an idea to people:

"Have you considered (Option X)?" This gets your idea across without being too forceful or bossy and allows for the possibility that they have tried it and it didn't work for them.

"Do you think it would make sense to do (Option Y?" is another phrase along these lines.

When asked to do something that you may not agree with/don't usually do:

"Should that be a priority for me right now? If so, why" It sounds so much better than "that's not my job" and lets the asker know that you have many different demands on your time.

These are just a few...

Marty Nemko said...

Good additions, Anonymous. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

This is already listed but I wanted to emphasize the importance of being concise and to the point when speaking.

There are a few people at work who are excruciating. They drag out an answer when a simple yes or no with a quick qualifier would have been fine. They think they're being thorough in their explanation but they're just being indulgent.

I avoid asking these people even simple questions.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Marty. What a great reminder. I have a technique I use that builds on this idea. When I am on the phone, I always stand when speaking and I make sure to smile. The caller may not be able to see your smile, but they can hear that happiness coming through the other end of the phone.

Know Yourself Quiz said...

Great tips you got here! Communication is something that a lot of people struggle with especially when they're in a group. So to read ideas like this is really helpful to learn about proper communication.


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