‘Be interested THEN be interesting’ is a mantra of ours.
We think it’s especially true when you meet someone for the first time, whether that be a new prospect, a new colleague or someone else’s customer or an important new contact on your network.
However, we can all fall into bad habits and still feel that we are being effective.
After all, how difficult is it to have a conversation with a potential client, strategic partner, or colleague?
It is amazing how many times, in our work lives, we can easily sink our own initiatives by making every wrong move as we communicate.
We thought that it might be fun to list a few of the ones we’ve seen, done, personally experienced, and both given and received.
Here’s our Hall of Fame of the top 5 Communication Blunders.
1. Talk constantly about yourself
Everyone loves to talk about themselves.
Make sure that you let others know your entire life history, all your personal troubles, and how you know everything there is to know about everything.
A particular favourite of ours is to drone on and on about successful children. After all, who wouldn’t be interested in them?
2. Talk technical terms to non-technical people
Forget about sounding understandable – focus on sounding intelligent.
Trust me, your audience will be thoroughly impressed with your depth of knowledge even if they have no idea what you said. Overload them with jargon and technicalities if at all possible.
3. Link everything they say back to your own situation
Take whatever they are communicating to you and make sure they understand that exactly the same thing has happened to you, and relate that experience to them. Make sure they realise that when it happened to you, it was ten times worse or you did ten times better than they did.
4. Immediately TELL them what they should do
It is always effective to jump straight to problem solving.
Especially when they have not finished telling you all the circumstances of the situation. That way, you can show them how smart you are to know the solution before hearing about the whole situation. They are bound to be impressed by your psychic capabilities!
5. Multi-task during the conversation
Let them know how important you are by interrupting the conversation to multi-task. Make sure you finish that email – they won’t notice anyway; keep your head down at your computer screen.
Stop the conversation dead to see who just called or texted you. Better still, pretend to be listening to them while trying to sneak a look at the message on your phone. That’ll work a treat.
When you have mastered these five steps, you will be very successful at keeping your conversations short and to the point.
People will stop walking up to you at networking events. They will not drop by your desk for support, and they will finally leave you alone.
You’ll certainly have more time for personal reflection on how to communicate better.
For more good rainmaking advice, please contact Rob Biggin by email, or by phone on 0845 652 1955