IT’S NEVER ABOUT WHAT YOU SAY, IT’S ALWAYS HOW YOU COMMUNICATE IT.
Conversations occur constantly in every area of your day-to-day life. Sometimes we don’t even notice how many interactions or conversations we had by the days end, but they are happening. What may start out as workplace small talk could potentially become a huge step and growth in your career or even a new opportunity.
When promoting your services or business, a higher level of professionalism may be expected. So being authentic and genuine should be your number one skill but also having a balance of being forthright and directive.
While we can’ t have every possible interaction or conversation you may have or encounter, here are some key points as you look to polish your interpersonal and communication skills and, at the same time, become more authentic in your delivery.
1) Get more information before making a statement. Don’t jump in too fast with your “I know for a facts” and Statements to prove their point is incorrect. Careful not to jump to conclusions. Pause, and ask another question to either get more information for a full understanding of their position or to have them expand so you can gain more understanding.
2) Keep everyone focused on the point, goal and intention. Create common ground on which to share your perspective. This will help people maintain understanding, stay on point with the topic, and to not hit any “hot buttons” that may turn the conversation into a spiraling combustion!
3) Be sure to inquire more than advocate for your position or view!Many times conversations can steer into the wrong direction, or completely in a way you didn’t have planned. Many of the times this can happen if you take a strong stance advocating your position rather than taking the time to ask questions and to see their position or their needs. Stay humble. You may be right, but right in your own mind. There’s always two sides of the coin.
4) Lay it on the Line. Be REAL and authentic! Telling people that you are new, you don’t know all the details yet, you are a work in progress, etc..only shows your authenticity. Honesty shows you are humble, and the conversation will allow people to connect more with you when you come across “human”.
5) Develop a reputation of being a good listener. Be careful to not jump in with the “me too’s” or “you gotta hear when this happened to me”. People are interested in one major person when speaking, and it’s always themselves. To develop better relationships with your clients or soon to be clients, bite your tongue. No need to jump in and fill every pause. Really listen to what they say and respond with a question which will develop and stem off of their previous statements.
6) Be a problem solver. You don’t always need to get a result, sale, or a paid service in your conversations. Listening to your customers needs, and being a problem helper or solver will create a strong bond and relationship. Your solution may not even be one that you can provide for them. Just be that person who is genuine and will recommend or help even if it doesn’t directly benefit you.
7) Develop your Small Talk. “Nice weather we’re having” can get old real fast. Start to develop your initial small talk more than the obvious. You can use your surroundings, kids, something in common, or a compliment. Everyone likes to feel valued. Even if you know everything in the area, maybe ask for their opinion, or suggestions, or advice on the situation. I.e.: Have you eaten at this restaurant before? What is the number one item I should not miss?
Developing your conversational skills is just that, a skill. To some people, it comes a lot easier. Even chatty Kathy’s aren’t always successful at this, just because they are outgoing and chatty. Having a point, directing the conversation with leading questions, and having a genuine interest in helping them in their needs will help you develop stronger relationships and a new following.