Often times when we think we are having a conversation with another person, what is occurring is more an illusion rather than a reality. To put it bluntly, we are often clueless to how the other person is receiving our message. So, how can you avoid falling into the “CLUELESS-ZONE?”
Here are 10 ideas to help you:
1. Pay Attention – listen to the TONES and WORDS of the other person to pick up on whether or not they are “moving toward you” or “away from you” and address it immediately.
2. Intuition – the miracle of every human being is what science has identified as our human intuition, which is our ability to understand through instinct rather than conscious reasoning. Intuition will connect you much quicker than rhetoric. Intuition must be exercised like a muscle in order for it to be effective.
3. Be Selfless – the primary cause for being clueless is being self-centered. When we are so focused on our purpose, needs, goals and message; we tend to lose all sense of fulfilling other people’s needs. The risk in being focused, is that we are not in tune with the resources that will lead us to achieve what we want. To the degree we fulfill other peoples needs – our needs will be met. This is the law of reciprocity and is a fact of abundance and prosperity.
4. Ask Relevant Questions – The only good question is a question that provides you with valuable information to follow up with. These questions must be based on what the other person is telling you and not so much standard conversation starters such as “how are you?”or “how was your weekend?” Being genuine with your questions is more about character than it being an art. Words, timing, and tone will reveal your true interest. If I replied “WOW! that is very interesting, what did you do next?” or “I can’t believe you have to deal with all that, what are you going to do?”
5. Be Helpful – You should be very, very careful to make your message all about you. If you are going to get what you want, you will need to provide something to the other person. Pay Attention to the clues and follow up with, “Maybe I can help” or I’d like to help” or “I have an idea that might be helpful.” Sometimes getting help from others is much like providing help. for instance, “I was wondering if you could help me with something?” or “If it’s not too much trouble, could you spare some time to help me?” Helping one another is a natural human growth process that some people get and are moved to action if called upon.
6. Listen – listen with the intent to understand rather than to respond is montra that will pay huge dividends. To listen appropriately is to allow another person to speak without interruption. Avoid speaking over the other person and practice listening for clues as opposed to waiting for an opening to get your message in. Trust in the process, you will get your turn to speak.
7. Be Accepting – A conversation does not need be an “arm wrestle” or “tug-of-war.” if anything, a conversation compares more to Judo, which is more a discipline than a combat strategy. Judo uses the strength and resistance of the opponent a leverage. You should understand that it is possible the other person may not be skilled in conversation and their effectiveness at explaining what they do or why they are not interested in your message. Let the conversation go where it goes until you have gathered enough information do direct it. Being accepting will take a lot of pressure of you to force the conversation where you need it to go.
8. Keep Perspective – You will “win” some and you will “lose” some. The thing that matters is that you consistently win more than you lose and that your winning percentage improves. It is easy to give in to the sloppy conversation approach of society and think that it doesn’t matter if you develop your skills or not. Truth is, it will make a big difference over time, both monetary and socially.
9. Be Honest – If things don’t make sense to you, then be honest about it. It’s OK to say “am I missing something?” or “I can’t seem to wrap my head around that , can you please explain that to me once more?” There is no shame in asking for more information or explanation. Misunderstanding in the mother of disaster. Get clarity and make certain the other person is clear with your message.
10. Empathy – this list would not be complete without empathy. Although most people can define empathy – most people fail to practice it. Empathy requires much more than understanding another persons feelings. Empathy also requires intelligence and experience. For example, you would not want to express your understanding of what it is like to operate a struggling business to a person who is in a current fight to keep their business afloat if you have never had that experience. You can only imagine what its like and even then you wouldn’t know the struggles. My point is, be careful with examples that don’t measure up or experience that are totally different.
There is no greater skill to develop, no more important talent to posses, no education more valuable than COMPELLING CONVERSATION skills!