My simple response to that question is —
Make your conversations count.
How flattered would you feel if an acquaintance you met once remembered not only your name but also details about what you said?
My guess is you’d feel flattered and impressed that your words were remembered. It’s a good feeling that you can create with your contacts if you stay in the present moment.
Achieving your goals necessitates interacting with other people — securing information or budgets, seeking guidance, brainstorming or making requests for connections with other people who might be helpful.
So, how do you make your conversations count?
Here are tips for having a dialogue that’s not soon forgotten:
- Focus — All your energy, attention and eye contact on the other person. Shake hands with a firm grip and a genuine smile on your face and in your eyes. Listen intently so you recall details. Crystallize the key points in your mind and take notes afterwards. Then refer back to the comments, stories and suggestions the next time you connect.
- Relax —People are attracted to those who are tranquil and calm. No matter the type of person you are speaking with — approach them as an equal and be yourself. They will want to be around you because you radiate confidence and are comfortable in your skin.
- Prepare — You know the questions you want to ask, or you should. That’s a no-brainer. Beyond your questions, your prep work should consist of research that will show you care enough to know more than their name and title. Prepare one or two specific comments that would spark a dialogue.
- Why are you speaking? — Ask yourself that question before you say anything. Are you truly listening and responding in the moment to what the other person is saying? Are you even present? Or are you wrapped up with what you are going to say next, so you can sound impressive? Too many of us are afraid of appearing stupid or insecure so we compensate by uttering words that have nothing to do with the topic at hand, or say too much. It’s much wiser to listen more, learn, and respond succinctly. Your words will have greater impact, and will be more meaningful, if you distill the information you share.
- Expect Good Outcomes — Assume positive intent about people and situations. The tone of your voice and your choice of words will directly reflect your mental outlook. People gravitate towards upbeat and outgoing individuals, thus compounding the reason to stash away any negative thoughts.
- Offer Your Help — Don’t wait until you send a follow-up email or card. Before the conversation ends, offer your assistance. If you’ve done your prep work, you might even offer help on a current project that is important to your contact.
You can achieve your goals if you upgrade the quality of your conversations. Charismatic people know this, and use the power of focus to draw people into their circle of influence by making everyone feel heard and respected.
Here’s a short and helpful article on having better conversations in the February issue of Fast Company. Read it here: http://www.fastcompany.com/3004491/how-toyes-and-your-way-better-banter
Are you planning the steps to achieve your goals? That’s where I can help. Visit my executive coaching services page!