This week we are taking a look at a few phrases holding the promise of making our relationships a bit more genuine and open. People often walk into situations without a clear understanding of the dynamics involved. Social mores and our egos are a small but significant barrier not just to authentic conversation, but also to the ability to demonstrate our humanity. Fear of looking bad or saying the wrong thing stands in the way of communicating openly and fully with our business associates and acquaintance.
Here are a couple of phrases, in addition to the ones we have already discussed, that will make a real difference in your ability to put yourself across in all varieties of social and business situations.
Let me help!
We can’t get by without a little help from a lot of people. We all inherently understand our interdependence and need for assistance from others. Whether in the context of your work environment, your business networking, your volunteer efforts or even with strangers, your offer of assistance is an immediate signal you understand the role of consideration and collaboration in relationships. To volunteer without being called upon demonstrates your willingness to assist in the greater good. Offer your assistance in a straightforward manner with no strings attached. Then follow up with action!
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Tell me about yourself!
Have you ever had a great conversation with someone only to later realize you did all of the talking? Real masters at conversation know a very simple way to keep things moving – ask about the other person. People love to talk about themselves: just ask anyone about their favorite travels. Ask open questions and follow on with more questions about the detail. We all gravitate to people who show an interest in us. Likewise, we tend to move away from people who only want to talk about themselves. When you demonstrate a genuine interest in other people, you allow them the great opportunity to express themselves in a manner of their own choosing, to provide you with the persona they most want you to see. People too seldom have such an opening. Give it to them and watch them run with it.
Note both of our suggestions today keep the other person at the center of the relationship. You are helping them in their enterprise or you are asking them to tell you about themselves. We find this type of attitude attractive because it’s born of an inner confidence that doesn’t require center stage to shine.