The way we phrase both our praise and our criticisms has a significant impact on others’ reaction to us. We too often react impulsively, letting our most aggressive instincts play traffic cop in our relationships. When we do so, however, we put the wrong guy in charge. If there is one lesson we all need to practice, it’s the importance of developing a sufficient emotional intelligence to authentically generate in ourselves and others a rapport that bridges over differences of perspective. This week we are looking at ways of expressing ourselves to accomplish the task of creating an intuitive empathy between ourselves and our clients, co-workers and family.
One of the keys to knowing a phrase should be repeated as often as possible is the fact we like hearing it ourselves. Be liberal with your praise of others. Doing so authentically indicates you are paying attention to the effort others contribute to your well-being. Praise is a way of saying “Thank You” with a special note of appreciation for the collaborative to a common enterprise whether it be at work or at home. This week, look for the opportunity to say “Great Job” and watch the recipient of your attention soak it in.
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Can you help me?
Have a problem with a supplier? You can certainly launch right into a complaint or the circumstances surrounding the situation before you. But consider setting the tone with four simple words: “Can you help me?” Most humans are naturally empathetic. We know what it is to need help and we are typically willing to reach out to assist others. When you preface your remarks with a request for assistance, you generate the appropriate emotional resonance in your correspondent to provide an easier road to a desirable end.
One of the criticisms you may be tempted to level on this second day of our article series is the specter of manipulation. Am I suggesting we render praise or utter these magic phrases solely to generate an emotional response in the other person? Two part answer coming up. 1) It is important everything you say is authentic. Render praise when it is due. Ask for assistance because that is what you need and because the other has the power to deliver it. 2) It is magic. Everything we say, intentionally or not, creates emotional ripples all around us. The very nature of relationship is based on our ability to communicate and empathize. In a time characterized by rough language and course criticism, there is nothing wrong with communicating with intent and doing it well.