No matter the situation, having a likable, friendly presence will work in your favor. But sometimes, entering an interview, a new social setting, or a business meeting can be overwhelming or uncomfortable. But despite that, you can still make a connection and build rapport.
Here’s the thing to remember: You don’t have to be charismatic and socially charming in every situation. If that is not your style, don’t try to fake it. Find the pieces in the conversation that intrigue you, and let your natural curiosity find its way from there.
While researching this piece, I paid more attention to my own conversational habits. I found moments when I began to allow my eyes to glaze over. However, having the research fresh on my mind, I took a moment to identify the parts of the conversation that interested me, and then tried to incorporate the tactics below.
Every conversation has a transition to another topic and everybody has something interesting to say. Here are a few tips:
A conversation is a bit like a dance. You have a partner and you want to flow seamlessly from one move to next, creating something poised and pretty in the process. Showing genuine interest in what your partner has to say is the way to do this. Note the word genuine. Identify an interesting point they make, connect with it fully, and show curiosity by asking questions.
If you feel you start to lose them, respond and adapt. If something called their attention away from you, see what interested them and remark on it. Don’t force the conversation where you want it to go, and if you lose them entirely, ask a question and shift the focus to get your partner speaking.
Many times, when somebody is speaking, the listener is just thinking about what they will say next. What does it actually mean to actively listen? Rather than passively “hearing” what the speaker is saying, actively listening means you not only absorb the words, but you also follow what they are communicating when you read between the lines.
Invest in what they are saying, note changes in tone or body language. Appreciate how they feel and what is important to them, and respond based on those cues.
Finally, incorporate their favorite word in the English language. All human’s respond positively to their own name. Find natural opportunities to insert the other person’s name without overusing it and you’ll instantly be more likable for remembering their name and using it periodically in a conversation.
Maintaining a strong conversation may not be your strong suit, but you still need to push passed the awkward moments. Even if a conversation feels uncomfortable, it’s probably doing you more good than you think.
Interested in learning more about making a good first impression and building rapport? Check out our Public Classes to learn more.
[Featured Image Credit: Pixabay]
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