The following is a survival quit to make communication easier with all types of people.
I compiled it after and I role modeled successful entrepreneurs and spiritual teachers.
I noticed that they all have something in common: they can connect with anybody, it feels natural, simple and very personal in the same time.
I also noticed that they use the same communication strategy, so I distilled their approaches and bottled them in this article.
The result holds in 4 rules that you can bring anywhere with you.
Before you consider talking to someone: check their body language, that comes first. By paying attention to their facial expression, their gestures, you can guess their emotional state and adapt your communication.
Assessing someone’s mindset allows you to adapt your communication and be understood. Is the person angry? Shy? Concerned? In a great mood? As you start talking to someone, you should know how they feel, that’ll give you an immediate advantage. If you want to talk to an angry person for instance, you’d better give room for them to vent out their frustration prior to asking anything from them.
Talk to people’s qualities
Always talk to people’s qualities, leave their defects out of the conversation.
It means that if a person has a good heart, relate with it, and then give it a chance to respond to you. That’s a general rule: If you communicate with someone’s quality, the same quality will answer, expect that from their defects too. In case you have to deal with a very arrogant dude (ever tried to get your passport stamped by a government worker in India?), just don’t focus on his arrogance, work around it and use another channel.
That’s why telemarketers won’t engage a call by saying: “Excuse me for interrupting”, they know that the customers’ sense of entitlement and anger would jump at the opportunity to say “YES, you’re interrupting ME!” and hang up.
Forget about being effective
Type A and productivity oriented people usually suck at making meaningful connections with people. It can be explained by the fact that they’re obsessed with their tight schedule, so they come to you with the sole idea of getting something out of you in a short time. Generally people sense that and will resist. I’m sure that happened to you already.
If you want to get the best out of people, provide them with enough time to express themselves and accept the fact that you might end the exchange with more than what you came for, or just something you didn’t expect. Forget about being effective when communicating, being effective doesn’t work well with human relationships.
What happens when you smile on your own, thinking of a joke you’ve just heard?
50% people you meet smile back at you, some even say hi.
That happens to me a lot, I’m sometimes embarrassed by people waving at me and then I realize the unconscious grin on my face… Smiling makes relationships easier with most people, in most cultures and in most situations. Be the one that smiles first, don’t wait for people to do it, and don’t wait for a good reason to smile, you will find the reasons when you start smiling, that’s the trick.
Once you get started with smiling, you’ll see the worst people change their behavior dramatically. It’s very hard to frown at someone that smiles, it actually takes so much effort that usually people give in fairly quickly.
Needless to say that once you get someone to smile back at you, they are uncousiously willing to help you already. Train the smile muscles, the reward is 600% more gratifying than any freaking fitness class.
Smiling without a reason is not a sign of brain decay, BTW, so don’t be shy about it.