Effective communication and interpersonal skills can be learned. Although some people seem to be naturally endowed with these traits, not everyone comes by them naturally. However the good news is we can all learn the skills to communicate effectively thus affecting our personal, family and social life as well as enhancing our business opportunities.
Have you ever wondered why you are drawn to some people and not to others? Have you ever considered your own ‘attract-ability’ or ‘trust-ability’ factor and what it is about you that pulls people towards you and want to trust you or causes them to avoid you or question your motives? If people trust you, they are likely to be attracted to you which forms a strong relationship bond. Giving you the opportunity to increase your odds for success and happiness in life.
Here are eleven things you can do to increase your ‘attract (trust)-ability’.
- Think before you speak. It is important to edit your thoughts before sharing them. It’s a lot easier to deal with something that did not get said than to take back hasty words that hurt. Examine your emotional state and delay the interaction if necessary.
- Make eye contact when addressing someone else. Be warm and welcoming. Smile. It has been said that the soul of a body is seen through the eyes.
- Use a friendly tone of voice communicating interest in the person you are speaking to. Mirror the pitch and pace of your listener. They’ll be more comfortable if they feel you’re similar to them.
- Be sincere. Only say things that you genuinely feel and believe. Be forthright. Saying one thing but doing another is a trust buster.
- When you give your word make it your bond. Promises that are kept will increase another’s trust in you and will make others want to continue doing business with you. Show accountability for your actions.
- Be on time. Show respect for others by returning phone calls in a timely fashion. Be punctual with meetings and also in completing assignments. Reliability is an essential byproduct of trust.
- Develop self awareness and be honest about your strengths and the strengths of others. Do not oversell or undersell yourself or anyone else. This will enable everyone to give their best and you will gain respect.
- Deliver difficult news in a timely manner. Do not put it off hoping that it will go away. This only makes things worse. Lee Iacocca, former president of Ford and former Chairman of Chrysler. has been quoted as saying: “My people can take good news and bad news, it’s the surprises that they don’t like”.
- Listen Interactively. Since we are gifted with one mouth and two ears, it is a good rule of thumb to speak less than you listen and to scan for the message behind the message. Interpret all three, – words, tone of voice and body language to garnish the real meaning. Then, clarify and confirm your understanding to avoid the pitfall of misinterpretation, misunderstanding which leads into the bear trap of miscommunication.
- Show interest in others. Always ask about their lives before you engage them in your concerns. People will always respond to a friendly exchange more readily than to a situation where they feel that you want to extract something from them. Lead with high touch (the heart and soul) before gravitating to high task (the head and hand).
- Keep the lines of communication open. Even if you don’t particularly like someone you may need his or her help later on. Keep your options alive. With technology and the social media availability, keeping in touch has been made much easier.
Remember that you can learn how to build trust in a relationship and have people want to be around you.
The old adage of ‘how do you eat an elephant – one bite at a time’ holds true for acquiring Interpersonal Skills that lead to Effective Communication. Make a concerted effort to internalize these skills one at a time. Take the risk of failing initially but learning from the mistake and becoming better each time. Once you have mastered one skill, add another until you are able to learn all of them. Behaviour scientists suggest that it takes twenty one consecutive days to formulate a new behavior that becomes a habit. Adding these skills to your repertoire will go long way in lessening the stress in your life as well as elevating the benefits of your relationships – personally, socially as well as in your workplace.
Accepting what you have to learn to become an effective communicator is half of the equation. The other half is knowing where to look to obtain ‘state of the art’ learning that teaches you the how-to.
To learn more about interpersonal skills, visit the Integro Performance Group website.