Communicating well is extremely important on any occasion. It reflects a lot on a person’s attitude and mindset. If you have the best idea but you can’t articulate or communicate your idea well enough, it is hard to win the people’s vote for your idea. With the rise in social media, generations lack enough opportunity to interact with others face-to-face especially during a lockdown caused by a pandemic in comparison to older days.
This has reduced many people’s livelihood, particularly in their self-confidence. Here are 7 tips I used to create a stronger presence throughout my career.
Tip 1 – Be Curious
Life is full of opportunities to meet people. When do you have these opportunities? When you are in a waiting room, on a bus, when you are catching a plane, queuing at the bank, etc. Take an interest in the people who are close to you. Arouse that curiosity and start asking questions. Ask them about things that might be important to them, like what you do, who your family members are, or what your interests are.
Break the ice and then bring the conversation to the next level.
Tip 2 – Listen To People
One of the most comforting things a friend can give is listening to them, giving them your attention and your time. Listen to them when they have problems, or when they’d like to share information with you.
How can you do it and show that you are actively listening?
Put your cell phone aside, pay attention to the other person, maintain eye contact, ask intelligent questions, start to find common ground (tip 4), and develop an engaging conversation. Try not to ask closed questions, instead ask open questions, so that the other person is also curious and interested to interact with you.
It is important to know that a conversation cannot be everything about one person talking all night, rather, take turns to share or talk. Through that, only will the conversation lead to somewhere rather than just nowhere.
Step 3 – Be Open About Things
They have taught us that it is best not to say much about ourselves, for fear that if we are open, people may have certain information about us that makes us vulnerable and that can be used against us.
If you think something is wrong, break the patterns and try a better approach. Learn to trust yourself and lose the fear of being open. Share smart and fun ideas. Avoid participating in interactions with close-minded people.
Your way of thinking will open the doors for you in the relationship with the other. You never know if what you say will make someone ponder something deep, laugh or look at you from a new perspective.
Tip 4 – Identify Common Grounds
As different as human beings are if you search and do some research you can find common themes. What could they be? If the person has a partner, who are their children, if they like to travel, read, do sports, what are their hobbies, etc.
Develop the ability to ask questions and share stories, in such a way that you find topics that can relate to others and communicate different experiences that allow you to feel close.
Tip 5 – Avoid Judging
“Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”
Human beings, through social norms, tend to put labels on people because of how they look, their height, skin color, clothing, socioeconomic status, among others. We continually create a story around people, although in reality, we never know who is behind that image that is presented to us.
Meeting many people will give you the opportunity to meet wonderful individuals and if they are similar or very different from you. As my above point, be open as possible to meet new people.
Tip 6 – Be As Authentic As Possible
It is essential to be authentic in relationships, to be yourself. It is something that people capture even if we want to hide it because they realize when we put on a mask so that they do not see who we really are or perceive when we are pretending. Being authentic, sincere, and transparent is a tool that will help you connect with others.
Speak from the heart, share your opinions, learn to be yourself because it is something that people will feel and value.
Tip 7 – Discover The Value Of People
Everyone has value. If you are able to develop the ability to discern what it is, it will definitely help you to relate with the particular person more. See what sets them apart, what makes them special, what they are proud of, etc.
Find the value of each person and that will open the doors to a relationship.
Interaction is an art and skill and is not easily mastered within a couple of days or weeks. It takes practice, trial and error, and experience to implement them. So don’t be too frustrated with yourself if you forgot the points or didn’t get it right during your interaction.
The first step forward is to always try.
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