Let’s be honest, every one of us wants to be known and understood. We all want to maintain/make friendships, be influential in our relationships and well liked by peers. If we’re really honest, we would admit that we also want (badly) for our opinions to be heard and validated. I would like to summarize and share with you what I have learned about being effective in those areas, particularly in the area of being influential in communication.
- PLEASE! Learn to listen-there’s a reason learning to listen is the first tip on this list. I cannot stress the importance of learning to listen enough! Not only is it impolite to not listen when others are talking, it also won’t get you very far with them (if they are people who value their time). When having a conversation with someone do not start thinking about what you are going to say after they are finished. No, sit still and drink in what they are saying. Pay close attention to how they are saying it. This is the first step in communicating to them what they might need to hear and or how you might communicate what you would like them to hear.
- Repeat-throughout the conversation, repeat parts of what this person has said back to them (I would strongly suggest not doing so to the point of annoying, like repeating what they have said after every sentence). This shows them you have been listening to them. It also helps them see that you care about what they are saying! When people know you care about what they are saying, they will be much more willing to listen to what you have to say. Trust me!
- Remember-take time to remember the information that person has revealed. Be intentional about how you remember what they have told you. If it helps you to write down information, do it! If you need to record what they have said on your smart phone, do it! Do whatever it takes to remember what they said to you. When you encounter that person again, remember to ask them about that particular incident you were talking to them about. They will be pleased that you took notice of them and will want to start remembering more about you as well.
Those are my three tips! If you have any you would care to add to my list, feel free to post them in the comments. I really love hearing from you and respect what you have to say.