As a Lifestyle and Etiquette Consultant, I meet people of all natures from all over the globe.
Whether in Business, Diplomacy, any Social Settings or Youth, life has taught me one thing: Building relationships with people will lead you to success, in private and in business. You will connect with people more deeply and meaningfully, you will manage your future engagements with people much more successfully and you will eventually experience decreased miscommunication. Now tell me, who doesn’t want that?
Relationships are the lifeblood of business. Without building relationships with people, you’re not going to do well in business. Building that capability takes time. Yes, it’s not easy and it doesn’t come naturally for everyone, but it’s a skill and you can learn it. I’ve had to work at it and so do you. Etiquette, People Skills, Soft Skills or whatever you call it, is a lifelong process.
To be successful, there’s one skill that’s incredibly basic and yet so underrepresented in our modern community, our disruptive world – The Art of Conversation. EVERYTHING starts with a conversation, especially if you want to build a relationship. It is a deciding factor in our life, for our business, as a leader, as a friend, as a partner, as a relative and even as a stranger. Conversation is a foundational skill of us Homo Sapiens and it affects literally every area of our lives. It is a process, which requires time, like any learning to be “a better” in anything. The more you practice, the more rewards you gain in your future engagements.
The most frequent questions I’ve been asked in my workshops are:
1. How do I become a better conversationalist?
2. How do I become the STAR of the team?
3. How can I relate better to people?
4. How do I apply all these wonderful values of human mind into my networking, meetings…?
As you can see, it’s all about relationship management. We’ve learnt to focus on our self-improvement in the pursuit of knowledge, experience, intelligence, education and we have forgotten that we have no full understanding of how our communication affects several areas of our life. We
forgot to focus on developing the skills in tapping the most precious resource – The People. Your interpersonal relationships can make or break you.
I can tell you one thing, I have had success with these tips and so can you too:
1. Keep notes about people you meet
2. Listen actively
3. Ask open-ended questions in order to get meaningful information
4. Admit when you don’t know something and let others educate you without fear of embarrassment or intimidation
5. Keep the conversation back and forth (like playing tennis)
6. Let the conversation take its course (level of communication)
7. Offer favor, it’s powerful
8. Always be genuine and kind without pretension
9. Recognize that you can’t please everyone
10. Set some boundaries and be solution-minded before getting sucked into negativity
When you do cultivate these principles which I call your own presence, you draw attention and admiration from others. Not only will people want to develop relationship with you, they may also will want to socialize with you, do business with you and in some instances maybe marry you, you never know when opportunity knocks at the door, it happens. Of course, this presence has to be practiced as part of your essence until it’s internalized and emanated from within. That’s where others are drawn to you, some talk about charisma, because you exude humble, self-confidence, optimism. You have something special to offer, you are contagious.