I want you to think about this. I think we should all speak less about ourselves and focus more on others. I do this, and it’s quite effective. I encourage you to do the same. I will be more memorable to people by showing that I’m interested in them.
That was hard to write! Every sentence in the first paragraph began with the personal pronoun “I.” The subject of each of those sentences is the speaker (or writer). It’s entirely I-focused.
I, I, I…
Me, me, me…
My, my, my…
It tells readers/listeners that the speaker thinks only of him/herself: “I am focused on ME! I think first of ME, then you. It’s ME before others.” That’s not the message to send.
Do you want to be more impactful and interesting to the people you meet, network with, and sell to? Talk about them! Get them to talk about themselves, their interests, their goals and expected outcomes.
Think about some of the late-night talk show hosts you’ve seen and LOVE. What makes them so lovable? It’s because they are animated and enthusiastic about the people they’re interviewing. They ask lots of questions and don’t talk so much about themselves. They are not being self-centered.
Focus, focus, focus on the speaker. Don’t think about yourself or what you’re going to say next. Waiting for the other person to finish talking so that you can make your point means that you’re not paying attention, and probably don’t know what that person is saying.
Another thing you can do to get away from self-focus is to use inclusive pronouns, but what does that mean? It means that we choose words that include others as well. Say things like “Tell us…” instead of “Tell me…”
|I want you to write down some facts about…||Write down some facts about…|
|I’m going to give you 30 minutes to…||You’ll have 30 minutes to…|
|I need you to look at…”||Look at…|
Be polite – add the benefit. On their own, the statements above can sound somewhat bossy. They may seem to be disrespectfully ordering people to perform actions. To soften these kinds of statements, we add the benefit that they person will receive from doing the thing we’re telling them to do:
“Sell” your ideas to others based on the benefits of acting on them. Ask: “How will doing / knowing this benefit the recipient?” The best salespeople know and practice our UB4me principle.
|I want to give a great presentation||Give a great presentation so that you can win your prospect’s business.|
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