Self Awareness Development of Our Self-image Social Comparison Significant Others Self-Esteem Self-Confidence Assertiveness & Confidence Assertiveness Being Confident Strategies to Make Assertive NO Easier Dealing with Emotions Differences between Being Aggressive and Being Assertive
Key to leadership and success – connect with people – wind up better in their affections – they put people at ease – they interact smoothly and are emotionally intelligent.
Conversations can be easy and fun. This is simple but all simple things are not easy. Listening and talking skills.
Introvert vs extrovert
Current issues with potential solutions will show wit And other things will spice up.
Description Start out by asking them questions that are easy for them to answer. A good balance is around two or three closed questions , that have short answers, and then one open question , where they have to think and talk more. Early on, it is often better even with open questions to keep them simple and easy. When doing this, remember to sustain interest in them and what they have to say. Easy questions can lead to stock answers, but remember that the goal is to get the conversation going, not discover what the Easy topics include: The weather (especially in climates where it changes often). Recent news (though be careful about difficult topics that may lead to emotional arousal). Family (siblings, where they live, etc.) History (what school they went to, where they hav lived, etc.) Work (what they do, people at work, etc.) Holidays Hobbies and sports Example Isn't it a great day? Did you get out in the sunshine, today? Did you hear about the accident down town? Isn't it awful? Do you have a brother called Joe? I do like your dress -- where did you get it? Discussion Questions are an easy way to open a conversation, especially if you are prepared. If the other person is uncomfortable (and they often are), then questions that are easy for them to answer is a good way to make them comfortable whilst engaging them (rather than having them listen too much to you). Early on, do also remember to stay away from potentially contentious topics unless you deliberately want to create an impact. Criticizing the Pope, for example, is a not a good idea if you do not know whether the other person is a Catholic (even conservative non-Catholics may find such a move disturbing).
Description Ask them something about themselves. If you do not know their name , then start there. Compliment them about their appearance. Ask them where the got that nice suit, watch, hat or whatever. Comment on their cheery condition, ask them why they are looking a bit down. Say they look distracted and ask why. Ask if they have family, the names of their children, how old they are, how they are doing in school and so on. Ask about their occupation, their careers and plans for the future. Ask about hobbies, interests and what they do with their spare time. Pay attention when they give you an answer. Show interest not only in the answer but them as a person as well, possibly evoking a betrayal response. And when they tell you something, show interest in it. Follow up with more questions. Example You look thoughtful. What's up? What are you going to do this weekend? That's a lovely jumper, where did you get it? Discussion The most interesting person in the world is me. I can talk about myself all day long if somebody asks me the right questions and seems to be really interested in what I have to say. Note that the level of intimacy in the questions depends on the level of relationship. Be careful also with sensitive subjects. If you sense that they are uncomfortable with what you have asked, apologize as necessary and change the subject. If you ask questions but do not follow up, then then they may conclude that you are not really listening and are false in your apparent interest.
Description Have a long list of things you can talk about. Keep it in your wallet and take a peek just before you get into a conversation. You can keep a standard list that can be used in any situation. You can have specialized lists, for example chatting up a member of the opposite sex or talking about technical topics with peers. You can also have one-off lists, for example when you are going to meet somebody important to you, you can spend time beforehand listing things that you can discuss (or maybe that you want to discuss). Keep building your list. Listen to other people in conversation (including people who talk to you) and add inspiring ideas to your list. Example A boy is going out with a girl for the first time. He elicits help from friends and his list includes the concert next week, her family and how to dance the salsa (which he has found she is learning). Just before he sees her, he takes a peek at the list to remind himself. A sales person keeps a list of things to ask customers, including informal chat subjects and formal things to remember. She reviews the list in the car before going into talk with the customer. Discussion In the pressure that we often feel when starting a conversation it is easy to freeze or otherwise run out of things to say. A list provides an easy way of remembering things to say or discuss. Just having the list close to you, in a purse or pocket, makes visualization and mental access of the list a little easier. In a business situation it often looks efficient to have the list out in front of you, and tick off the subjects as you cover them. In a social situation, this would probably look at bit anal.
Description Look about: There are many things all around you that you can use to start a conversation. If you are outside, you can talk about the weather, the temperature, architecture, plants, trees, nature, the stars, clouds, and so on. If you are at a party or in a social situation, talk about the music, what others are wearing, who other people are, what they are doing, what to drink and so on. You can use trigger from the other person , for example complimenting them on their hair, dress and general appearance. You can also take a cue from their mood, whether it is particularly happy, thoughtful, anxious and so on. You can even talk about yourself , from apologizing for strange dress to saying something about how you feel. Try to say something original, though a straightforward comment is better than nothing! Example I don't know if it is going to rain -- what do you think? Look at that woman over there! I've never seen such a low-cut dress!! That's Aquarius up there. What's your star sign? Perhaps I can find it in the heavens for you. Discussion When you are bereft of ideas about what to say, things around you can be an easy source of inspiration. They provide something for a frozen mind to latch onto and can thus be used to unfreeze and move into action. Triggers are often used in creative methods to bounce to new and very different ideas. Thus you could see a tree as a weird hand reaching out of the ground like a horror movie and hence start a conversation about horror.
Description In some conversations, it is better to get quickly to the point rather than start with small-talk. Situations where this may appropriate include: In many business conversations. When you have little time. When the other person has little time. When the other person has something that they particularly want to talk about. When what you really want talk about will not take long. When a quick question gets a quick answer and hence what you want. All situations, however, are variable and this cannot be a definitive or complete list. When in doubt, add some brief niceties at the beginning and watch carefully to see whether the person looks impatient or interested in small-talk. Example A child interrupts it's mother just as the doorbell goes and whilst she is on the phone, asking permission to go out with friends. The mother quickly agrees. A sales person, seeing a busy professional buyer, asks just enough business-focused questions to understand the buying context before getting to more serious sales talk.. Discussion In many professional situations, it is not appropriate to spend much, if any, time on small-talk. For example if you are talking with a busy senior manager, asking them about their person lives beyond a basic courtesy may well be considered rude or lacking business focus (the same is true in many other situations. Getting to the point straight away can also act as a kind of shock tactic, triggering a response which you are seeking, pushing the person into an unthinking answer. A danger when getting to the point because you are in a hurry is that this may discomfort other person such that they do not engage with you and might even take revenge in some way.
The first few seconds of any conversation, the 'hello' part, is extremely critical, especially if you have never spoken with the person before. Yet many people blunder through these moments as they charge towards their chosen destination. The basic principle is to build the first steps of trust . In a few seconds?? Yes. The alternative is to lose it in a few seconds. Look Look them in the eye When you talk with them, make eye contact, particularly during the greeting. Prolonged eye contact signals either aggression or sexual interest, so don't stare, but do give them a reasonable duration of friendly eye contact. Smile Make the eyes friendly. Smile and mean it. False smiles do not reach the eyes, so whatever you do, don't pretend. It is difficult to control your eyes, so the best way is to control your feelings. If you genuinely are interested in the other person, then your eyes will convey this. As appropriate, do some self-talk before you begin to put yourself into the position of really caring. Tell yourself that this is a human, just like you and who deserves your respect whatever else you may think. Smile inside first, let it grow, then project it out with radiant warmth. Project Just with how you look at them, you send big messages. You can show and build confidence. You can project authority or other attributes. In fact you will always be projecting something -- the trick is to project that which you want them to receive. Speak Say their name If you have been told their name, use it immediately. This both shows that you are paying attention to them and that you consider them important. If you do not know their name, discover it , then remember it . Introduce yourself If you don't already know them, a simple neutral introduction is to say your name and employer. 'Hello, Jack, I'm Richie Bennow from Jemson Construction.' Resist the temptation to immediately dive into product talk. All you will get are objections. Greeting as promotion Depending on your situation, you can use the words of the greeting to promote what you are selling or even yourself. When somebody asks you how you are, instead of answering 'fine, thank you', add something about what you want to say, such as 'I'm very well and looking forward to working with you today' or 'Mike, I'm good. I've just opened a new store and folks are flocking in'. Act Shake hands ...or whatever the local custom is. Handshakes can tell a lot about a character and can show aggression, assertion or passivity in the first moments of a greeting. Generally, a firm handshake is best, but not a bonecrusher. Try to match the other person's pressure. If they go limp, don't squeeze hard. If you are a man, be particularly careful when shaking hands with a woman. Kiss, bow or whatever Greeting is a social ritual that varies greatly across cultures, both within a country and particularly across countries. In many Eastern countries, bowing is often important, including how low you bow and how often. In other countries hugging and kissing can range from mandatory to forbidden. If in doubt, watch how others greet one another, though do be careful as a greeting between friends can be very different from a greeting between a senior manager and a lower subordinate.
Description A simple way of starting a conversation is to introduce yourself. This may seem simple, but it is also an opportunity to intrigue the other person and get the conversation going. Simple topics include your name, occupation, family and hobbies. More adventurous topics include some of the things you have done which are brave, daft or interesting. A powerful approach, particularly in sales, is to include a description of what you can do for the other person. Be very careful about appearing too arrogant or otherwise putting the other person off, although in some settings boasting can be permitted or even desirable, particularly if you want to dominate the conversation. Heaven forbid, but you can make up something strange about yourself. Say you are an Arctic explorer, a professional mud-wrestler, a reformed burglar or an assassin or something else outrageous. Play it cool. Particularly if you will never meet the person again, this can be harmless fun. If they challenge you, you can decide whether to bluff it out or admit you were having fun (and then talk about fun in general). Use this as an opportunity to show that you are like the other person in some way. You can also do the opposite, showing that you are different. Use this introduction to offer a straw, giving the other person something about which they can ask or reply, thus extending the conversation. Remember not to tell too much about yourself at once. Do this in the exchange of a balanced conversation or such as a teaser to surprise them. Example Hello. I'm Jeff Barker, your union representative. I can help you with any employment issues you have. Phew. I spent all last weekend looking for a new house. Oh, I'm no good with computers. It's good to meet someone who knows what they are talking about. Hey, man. I'm the leader of the Kookahs. Yuh hear me? The leader, man. An' don' we have fun. Discussion Talking about yourself can be used to show your status and superiority, thus taking control of the conversation. It can also be used to show that you are friendly and harmless. It helps you position yourself relative to the other person and also within their frames of reference. By exposing a vulnerability, you are saying that you trust the other person not to attack that vulnerability and so establish a pattern of mutual trust. Doing it too much or too early may make you look like you are seeking sympathy or are conceding in supplication to prevent them harming you.
Description Say something that is incorrect and which the other person knows is wrong. Ask them a question in which they will have to tell you that you are wrong. Make this a simple factual error, so they can easily correct you. Try to find a subject that will wind them up a bit, but not too much. It often helps to indicate that you have been informed incorrectly, rather than believe what you are saying is a firm fact. When the other person corrects you, thank them and be impressed by their knowledge (but do not over-do this). Alternatively, you can debate whether the item is true and perhaps let them persuade you. Example Led Zeppelin are a German band, I hear. Now I've been told you are from Portsmouth, is that right? I thought I'd wear blue today. (when you are actually wearing green) Discussion When I say things that are clearly wrong, it offers a simple corrective response to the other person. This casts the person in an expert role, which usually makes them feel good. Thanking the other person for a correction also strokes their ego and positions yourself as an open person who can take criticism. The conversation can then continue around the question of how you got your facts wrong or how they know the right answer.
Description Write out a script that you will recite at the start of the conversation. Think carefully about what you will say and the effect it will have. Learn it off by heart so you can say it without sounding like you are reading it out. Record yourself and listen to ensure it is natural. You can also practice with a friend, which can be a very effective way of getting it right. Do not script the entire conversation, but do have a practiced words for important parts -- and the start is usually the most important bit. When you are going to regularly face a number of situations, you can have a whole repertoire of scripts. Example A sales person practices her pitch in front of the mirror. A boy who gets nervous with girls writes out a number of chat-up lines and learns to deliver them with wit and aplomb. A person who is being given an award scripts the first part of the thank you and practices it with a friend. Discussion Although you do not need to script the start of every conversation, when you are likely to be nervous or when the conversation is particularly important, it is well worth the investment of thoughtful words and practical practice. Typical situations where scripting is useful include: Sales presentations to customers Internal company presentations to important groups When you are meeting someone special and want to make a great impression
Description Do or say something surprising or shocking. Create awe and wonder. Amaze them with your bravado. Show them that you are not afraid of anything. Show that you do not care what others think of you. Be anything but boring and normal. Do match your tactics to the situation: your goal is to amaze, not to terrify . Smiling whilst you shock and awe can be a way of showing that you are not serious. Example You know, I've just come out of prison. Five years for fraud is just too much, don't you think? Well they didn't find all the money so I should be ok. Have you ever tried fighting a crocodile? It's not easy, I can tell you. (shouting) Good heavens! You are the most beautiful person I have seen!! Discussion Displays of prowess are common across the animal kingdom, including humans. One way you can do this is with what you say, as well as how you look. Surprise happens when you break expectations. This can make you interesting. It can also lead to fascinating conversations. 'Shock and awe' is a name used for a military tactic where a display of overpowering might is used to encourage the enemy into submission. You do not want to create fear with your display, but you do want to impress.
Description Open the conversation with some witty or cogent remark that is designed to amaze, annoy or otherwise trigger an interesting discussion. You can use ironic, cynical, dry, ascerbic or any other style. The success of any method is in the effect that it has. You can add 'Don't you think' or some other provocation to respond after such a remark. Example I wonder how people have time to come to these things. Anyone here must be a complete layabout, wouldn't you say? My dog wanted to come tonight, but he didn't have a suitable tie. If I were you, I would be careful about being seen with someone like me. Discussion Displaying wit signals that you are interested in something outside of normal mundane conversation. Wit must be played very carefully, as it can easily annoy some people. But if you do not mind winding up a few people, then even this can lead to interesting conversation. Oscar Wilde was a famous wit who would open a conversation with an often controversial, but very quotable comment, such as: It is very sad to see that nowadays there is so little useless information around. America was discovered before Columbus, but it was hushed up. Women can discover everything, except the obvious. The only thing worse in the world than being talked about is not being talked about. The husbands of very beautiful women often belong to the criminal classes. A man can be happy with any woman, so long as he does not love her. You can either use quotes like these directly, or use the quotation, for example saying 'Oscar Wilde said...what do you think'. A lazy or idle person; a loafer.
Oscar Wilde was a famous wit who would open a conversation with an often controversial, but very quotable comment, such as:
Girl – how much do you earn? Boy – 5 articles, 2 semianrs per month. Pranab Mukherjee Sherlock Holmes
Accepting criticism Description When others criticize you in some way, show that you are taking them seriously. Do not react badly to the criticism. Use this interaction to show that you are interested in them and their opinions. Show you can take it on the chin. Listen intently. Ask for elaboration. Ask them for more criticism. Ask them to help you improve. Show you value their inputs. Only respond more robustly if you are sure that the other person is attacking you (which often is not the case). In this case respond assertively , not aggressively. Example Hmm. I guess that wasn't too clear, was it. Thanks for pointing it out. You're right Mike. I do tend to slur my words when I'm excited. I'll try be more careful. Could I ask you to let me know if I do it again? Discussion When we are criticized by others, it often feels like an attack on our selves, threatening our sense of identity and challenging our control . This can trigger a fight-or-flight reaction , where we either attack back or retreat in some way. When you accept criticism and particularly when you ask them to help you improve, you are putting them into the position of a parent or close friend who you trust with your vulnerabilities. This encourages them to reciprocate and thus increase bonding . If they are criticising aggressively their main goal may be just to rile you. But when you are not wound up by what they say and ask for more information, they will be unsure, thus giving you an advantage you would not get if you fought back normally. Asking for elaboration will thus help distinguish those whose criticism is genuine (they will happily give you more information) and those who are using it as an attack (they will retreat or get angry). When you know their intent, you can then respond appropriately. If you can accept and act on the constructive criticism of others you will very likely improve in all sorts of ways. Description Show that you are interested in what they are talking about. If they are interested in sailing, express a passion for the sea. If they like horses, talk about going to the races. Use probing questions to find out more. You can also be enthusiastic about something in which you are interested. Be animated. Tell interesting stories. Talk about the subject with passion. Example Oh wow! I didn't realize that was how it worked. Please do tell me more. Discussion Emotions are contagious, and few more so than enthusiasm. When people see how switched on you are by a subject, they will want to share in the positive emotions and join you in your interest. (Note that the reverse is true, and negative emotions will drag the other person down). Enthusiasm is A caveat here: It is very easy to get yourself into deep water if you pretend to know about a subject where they have significant expertise. If you start talking about football with great enthusiasm you may find them enthusiastically asking you questions about specific moves in last week's game.
Don’t ask questions which are very personal in nature. (average American and avg Indian)
Description Ask for their thoughts about some topic or another. Ask them what should be done about some situation in work, home, locally or nationally. Ask what you think will happen next. Ask what particular people should do. Ask 'if you were they, what would you do'. Ask 'What should I do'. Ask for a recommendation about houses, cars, restaurants, gadgets, books, plumbers, etc. Ask about people and what they know or think about them. If you want to be daring, ask them about something controversial or that has some social taboo about it, such as teenage sex or inter-racial conflict. And once you have asked them, listen carefully to their advice, taking it seriously. You don't have to follow what they suggest, of course, but it's a good idea that you show you have listened and considered their suggestion. Example If you were the President, what would you do about education? We're going out tonight -- what restaurant would you recommend? How has Miguel been performing? Do you think he is ready for promotion? Discussion Asking their opinion casts them as an expert, which is rather flattering. It says 'you know something that I don't' and so pushes them up the social ladder a bit, offering them status.
Description Show a personal concern for the well-being of other person. Ask after their career, health, happiness and so on. Get them to open up and just listen . Accept what they say without criticism. Offer them ideas for how they can improve their lives (but only if you feel they are ready to hear these thoughts). Ask them what they think about your advice. Example Hello, Jane. I was worried about you last week. Were you ill? Perhaps you should take a few days off to think things over. What do you think? Discussion When people are troubled by health or other fundamental matters, then, as per Maslow's hierarchy , they tend to retreat inwards and away from more social conversation. This can limit conversation with them. When you show concern for the other person you build trust and draw them closer. When they trust you enough, they will expose something of their hidden self .
Description Even better than enthusiasm for the subject is interest in the person. It affirms their identity , increases their sense of belonging and plays to their need for esteem . Be interested in their past. Admire what they have done. Compliment them on their looks. Use open body language or lean towards them and use romantic body language . A simple way of showing interest in the person is just by using their name. After initial interest, pause to determine what effect you are having and if they are not looking happy with your interest in them, then back off (itself a technique that may lead to them then following you). Look for points of connection from what they say. Show that you are similar to them. Example So what did you get up to at the weekend, Sam? Where are you from? ... Oh, my cousin lives there... Which train do you catch? What do you think of the service? Discussion I am the most interesting person I know, and when others seem to agree with this, I will happily go on about myself and my opinions as long as I have an attentive audience. Showing interest in other people can thus be an easy way of extending the conversation. This also gives you lots of information about them that can be useful. Showing similarity, for example, increases bonding . A caveat: Too much interest in a person may be taken as an undesirable advance or even leading toward harassment. Be careful that your questions are not considered intrusive.
Description Link what is being said to other things, for example: Link current discussion to what the person said previously. Link to things you know they are interested in. Link what they say to your goals. Link their interests to things you are working on. Link to current events in the news. Use the link to boost interest and draw the other person in closer. Example You mentioned diamonds before -- I've got a friend in the business who can get discounts -- would you like me to put you in touch with her? You seem to be ahead of the times -- we are just doing early work on this. There was a news item last night about racing -- you know a lot about this, don't you? Discussion Information does not stand alone and naturally connects into wide networks of associated ideas (hence the web and hyperlinks!). Adding links adds new new possibilities. When you connect a person into another item or field, you give scope for much new thinking and understanding, much in the manner of metaphor . Linking in what the other person has said in the past boosts their sense of identity and hence is very good for building rapport as it shows that you have remembered what they say and are interested in them. When you show interest in them, they will be affected by the exchange principle and so be motivated to show more interest in you.
Description Talk about what may happen in the future. Ask them about: What they want to do with their career. Issues they have and what they are going to do about them. What they are going to do at the weekend. Where they are going on holiday next. Talk also about your plans, but be careful not to hog the limelight. Try to listen more than you speak. Example I remember you said you really enjoyed skiing last year. Are you going again this year? I'm really looking forward to this weekend -- we're going walking in the mountains. Now that you've been promoted, what are you going to do with the department? Discussion Talking about the future can be particularly exciting as here you can daydream and hope for great things, no matter what has befallen you in the past. When you talk about your plans, you also encourage the other person to think about the future. Talking a little bit about your plans also offers easy questions for them to ask to fill in the detail. Of course you can also ask the same questions in return.
Description Tell the other person about yourself -- but only a bit at a time. Start with relatively simple facts (name, work, etc.) and steadily move towards more personal information (religion, political affiliation, etc.) and emotional content (personal problems, likes/hates, etc.). Only give them information that you think they can handle. Do not overload them or 'dump' your emotional problems on them when they are not ready or willing to listen to such issues. Do this in a reciprocal manner, only giving more detail when the other person has given you detail about themselves. If they stop at a certain point, then you stop too. Example ...Hi, my name's Jan. ... ...I've been here for five years. When did you start? ... ...I don't like on the food there ... ...I'm having an operation next week ... Discussion I am the most interesting person I know and I'd love to talk a lot of the time about myself, but things are not always that simple. If you tell other people too much about yourself then they may well feel uncomfortable as the reciprocity norm sets a social obligation that they should return equivalent information. If they do not want to give you such details (for example if this is a part of their hidden self ) then they may well displace their guilt. into anger at you for putting them into this difficult position. Information is power and disclosure thus may well give advantage to the other person, particularly in a situation of competitive negotiation . Controlling what you say about yourself lets you manage personal information that could later be used against you. The progressive disclosure strategy thus allows you to carefully progress up to (and hence discover) their level of comfort about self-disclosure.
Description Tell a story of some sort. It can be a personal story, a story from a friend or something from elsewhere, such as from television or magazines. The key with stories is in the storytelling. Bring it to life for your audience. Put yourself into the story and bring them with you. Take on the emotions of the story: if it is an exciting bit, be excited, if it is sad, look sad, and so on (but beware of overdoing it!). Start the story well. Create a hook that draws the other person in and then keep feeding them interest to sustain their interest and enjoyment. End well too, with a punchline and closure of the key story tensions . You can elaborate on the story to make it more interesting, but do be truthful when appropriate and always maintain your integrity. Make the story relevant to the other person. Show how what happened to you is connected to them and their experiences. Do swap stories, but beware of annoying the other person by playing one-upmanship, telling stories that show you to be superior and hence downplay the other person. Example You know that reminds me of the time I was arrested and imprisoned. It all started the night I was mugged and left dazed on the streets of New York... My brother tried that too and, well, it was so funny, he thought he could ... ... and then she pushed him back in the pool, turned around and walked away without a word! I heard a very sad story on the news last night about a couple who... Discussion Stories can be used to empathize, explain, entertain and teach other people in a way that is interesting and engaging. We live our lives as a story and may think of it this way. Stories are thus easy to interpret and from which meaning can be easily created -- often far more so than some abstract description. Stories can be told as extended metaphors , using the content of the story as an allegory or representation of some other topic that is difficult to discuss, such as a romantic break-up or inappropriate behavior. Stories also may take more or less time, depending on what you want to do. If you have a lot of time to kill, you can extend the story, whilst if you want to make a simple point, you can tell the bones of the story in a very short period.
Description Talk about something topical. Discuss recent news. Offer an opinion on what has happened in the world, the country or your town or city recently. Talk about something that has been announced and is going to happen. Speculate about what that might be. Ask the other person if they have heard the story in question (if not, tell it to them). Talk about something that has happened to you recently. Tell it as a story . Ask the other person what has happened to them of late. Probe the story they tell. Example Did you hear about the fire down town? It was right over the road from the fire station, but apparently they still took five minutes to get there... I just heard that CEO is coming to the office next week. Last time he came he fired five people. Do you know why he would want to visit us? My daughter passed all her exams -- I'm so relieved. She was really not working well last year... Discussion Recent news is often of particular interest to other people, for example because it has some personal impact or because the general subject area is of interest. When people have heard about the same thing, this gives them something in common, and hence allows similarity to be used to develop trust . When people have heard or seen different versions of the same story, this gives something to discuss further, perhaps exploring the differences between the stories. Controversial subjects (such as sex, politics, religion or war) also give the potential for discussion of opinion--or even heated debate.
Description Develop your own list of things to talk about with other people. Keep a notepad with you and listen to other people's conversations. Make notes about good topics of conversation. Make particular notes about the opening words. Carry the list with you and take a secret peek at it when you feel you may be drying up or the conversation needs an extra boost. Example Christmas dinner What would you like for Christmas I was arrested last week (when I saw you from across the room) The coffee here is awful - have you tried Carluck's? The British monarchy Car racing Do you speak any foreign languages ... Discussion These pages only give you a few ideas -- there are so many other things that you can talk about. We often run out of things to say not because there is nothing to say but because we are paralyzed by the social situation and are perhaps afraid of saying the wrong thing. In practice, how you say it is much more important than what you say. Note how some people seem to get away with quite controversial comments -- and how they do so with a pleasant tone and perhaps a wicked but friendly smile.
If some people find it difficult to start a conversation and others find problems keeping it going, it can also be difficult to close a conversation so you can either move to another topic or move away to talk with someone else. Closing down a conversation can also seem like bad manners. To interrupt and walk away from somebody might make you wonder if they will think badly of you for this terrible social act. In practice, if you do it well, you will only leave them with a warm glow. Be negative : Be generally negative and poor company. Body pointing : Pointing your body away from the other person. Caught short : Say you need to go to the toilet. Closed questions : Create short answers. Declare completion : Say that the conversation is ended. Excuse yourself : Just excuse yourself and leave. Feign ignorance: Be unable to answer their questions. Introduce a friend: So you can excuse yourself. Out of time: Have another appointment. Phone calls: Use the phone to call you away. Procrastinating: Putting discussion off to another time. Short answers: That give no reason to extend. Slow down: De-accelerate to a standstill. Spot a friend: Wave to a friend and go to see them. Summarize: Describe the essence of what has been said. You can also ease the closing of a conversation by only joining groups of people, rather than going up to individuals standing alone. This makes it easier to excuse yourself and move on. When others try to close A useful additional note is to watch for these methods being used by other people. When they are trying to close the conversation you can gain social credit by noticing this and gracefully letting them go. I can see you need to leave. Go on -- I'm just fine. If it is important for you to continue the conversation (for example if you are selling something), then other people trying to close down can be used in two ways. First, it is a signal to you that you are probably not getting through to them, and you should the perhaps change your tactics. You can also use the fact they they want to leave as a lever, letting them go only when you get what you want from them. Their desperation may well let you get what you want with a simple request. Children use this when they know their parents are worn down and trying to get some peace. Can I go to see Janak tonight, please.
Principle We seek closure as release from tension. How it works Closure is the resolution of tension One of the characterizing factors about tension is that when we experience it, we will drive towards its resolution. When we are threatened, we will seek the closure of safety. When we are watching an exciting crime film, we find satisfaction in the closure of knowing 'who dunnit'. In buying, looking at something I want builds the tension of wanting. Completing the purchase creates the pleasure of closure. Even death can be a welcome closure, as condemned people and the terminally ill well know. Anticipation of closure creates pleasure A pleasure of tension is in the anticipation of closure. A roller-coaster is a series of tensions as you clank up the slope, anticipating the drop the other side. As you reach the summit there is a relief at having reached the edge, followed instantly by 'will I survive' tension as you plummet over the edge, with closure of relief as you reach the other end safely. When shopping, we thus enjoy the pleasure of anticipated completion of the purchase. Any closure can help any tension When someone makes me tense by shouting or disobeying me, there are more ways of resolving this tension other than direct interaction with them. Slamming the door helps. So does driving fast and chopping wood. It's almost like we create other tension and subsequent closure in order to try and snag the broader closure. Closure closes the doors of the past Closure is a literal event in more than one way. When we experience closure, we close the doors on the confusion of the past. Closed doors let you focus on the future. They let you decide quickly in the future. Closed doors are also hard to open again. Two types of closure: aha and yes Closure happens in two places during a person's thinking. First, when you understand, and meaning is created, you close the doors on any further pondering of what your experience means. Legend has it that Archimedes, when asked to determine the value of the Syracuse king's crown, went for a bath to think. As he sunk into the waters, he noticed the water spilling over the edge of the bath and suddenly realized how use this to calculate the volume of the crown. This was the point of closure, the aha moment, the point of realization. He then ran down the street, naked, shouting 'Eureka' (I have found it). Secondly, closure happens when you complete a decision, such as when you say 'yes' to the request from another person. Again, it closes off further cognitive effort and resolves associated tensions. Closure is the brain's way of saying thank you When you achieve closure, your brain gives you a nice squirt of natural opiates. This is its way of telling your that we are doing the right thing. You feel good, of course. Closure can be addictive Closure is so nice, we will even seek tension in order to experience the pleasure of closure. Children are naughty to get the closure of attention. Unhealthy habits from over-eating to excessive sunbathing are all driven by the search for closure. Once the habits are fixed, they automatically repeat themselves and can be difficult to stop. A classic closure-seeking pattern is the drama triangle where, for example, one child experiences closure of persecution when they hurt a sibling, whilst the sibling feels closure of being rescued by a parent. The rescuer can also get closure in the rewards of moral superiority. Such behavioral games are played out endlessly in families, workplaces and public places. Addicts find closure in using the needle, even when they are in a reasonable state of mind and they know how bad they are going to feel later. Re-opening is uncomfortable When we have closed on something, we feel very uncomfortable if somebody tries to re-open the situation, and we will often strongly resist such attempts. This pattern is typical of beliefs -- when we close on accepting a belief, we do not like having it challenged. So what? Closing is a sales speciality and nightmare, which highlights the problem for many -- after all the effort of persuasion, at some time you have to ask for the sale and risk the pain of rejection. The trick in closing is to find the right time, when the person is sufficiently wound up that all you need to do is tip the scales and they fall easily into the closure of agreeing with you and buying what you are selling, whether it is a tractor or their salvation. If you build tension in another person, they will seek closure. This is a core principle in persuasion.
Description Be generally morose and down at heart and see everything in a grey light. Be pessimistic and see only the bad side of things. Complain about the world. Grumble about how things are not going well for you. Tell them about your illnesses. Example Oh God. My back hurts. You can't begin to know how uncomfortable it is. You know I had to fix the roof guttering last week because I can't afford to employ someone, and it all just got so much worse. You look unwell yourself. Are you coming down with something? There is no escaping Discussion Emotions are catching and your negative state will start to rub off on them. Not wanting to feel down, they will likely back off and be happy for you to go. They may even makes their excuses and leave.
Description Use your body to point away from the other person. Point one leg away or the whole body away, so only your head is turned towards the other person. You can even be completely rude and turn your head away. If you are sitting, look like you are about to get up. If you are standing, lean in the direction of the exit. You can also keep glancing at the exit. Instead of the exit, you can also point at another person, as if you want to go and see them or otherwise spend more time with them. Example A man in a group of three points his body at the woman whilst listening to another man talk. The second man gets the message and moves off. A person in keeps looking at the door and points one foot and knee towards the door also. Occasionally they move slightly in that direction, particularly at the end of a sentence. Discussion The body sends subconscious signals that may be picked up by the other person, consciously or subconsciously. Pointing toward the other person shows interest in them, whilst pointing away shows disinterest or a need to go somewhere else. This method can be used in combination with other closing methods.
Description Explain that you need to go to the toilet. You can signal this by twitching subtly beforehand (do not overdo this!). Look slightly embarrassed to be asking to be excused and they will hurry to give you 'permission'. There are many ways of talking about the toilet in a socially acceptable way, ranging from polite euphemisms to bold humor, -- use one that suits the situation. Example Er..sorry, I need to go to the toilet. Excuse me -- I need powder my nose. Back in a mo. Just going to point Percy at the porcelain! Discussion Declaring yourself embarrassed places the other person in a position where they are complicit in causing that embarrassment. They will thus of course escape further embarrassment as quickly as possible and be pleased to see you leave. When you desperately need to go to the toilet, you simply have to go, so even if they are not embarrassed with you, there is clear social precedent that you can simply go. to point Percy at the porcelain Brit and Austral (of a man) to urinate. (1965 —) .
Description A simple way to close down a conversation or topic is not to open it up! Paraphrase what has been said and use closed questions to test the truth of these. When they ask you an open question or otherwise act to sustain the conversation, give a short answer and immediately grab control by asking a closed question in return. Example That's an interesting thought. Are you ready now? So, you want to go to France this summer, is that right? Do you know what you want now? Discussion Open questions lead to long answers, whilst closed questions lead to short answers, typically one word, such as 'yes' and 'no'. When you are forcing the other person to give short answers, this legitimizes short comments on your side. This leads to a spiral of brevity that quickly ends the conversation.
Description Simply say that the conversation is complete, asserting the end of the discussion. You can soften this with qualifiers. Another way to declare completion is by asking if the conversation is completed. Do this in a 'final' way that indicates that you believe there is nothing more to say on this topic. Example I think that's about it. I've nothing more to say about that. Are we done? That's enough about sausages for now. Discussion Asserting completion can be an effective method of completion, but only when you are in a position where it will work. It can be seen as impolite and is not always politic with a superior such as a senior manager, for example. In reverse, where you have a position of seniority, it is easy and effective. Declaring closure has particular effect when there is an implication that if the other person continues the conversation then they are breaking some social rules or will somehow appear inferior or stupid to disagree.
Description Give some excuse and leave. This does not have to be valid or even particularly sensible. Just saying that you must go is You can tag on a question to ask permission, if you like, although this is generally rhetorical. Giving a reason often helps, although again it does not have to make sense. Example Excuse me, but I have to go now. I have to get off now. Is that ok? I must leave because I have to go now. Discussion People give excuses all the time. It is a social ritual that demands acquiescence from the other person. To refuse a simple excuse request is itself considered much ruder than excusing yourself. When giving a reason, all you need to do is to sound rational. Research by Ellen Langer on pushing into queues (for using a photocopier in the experiment) showed if you give a reason, then people are more likely to let you in. What was most curious was that even when the reason did not make sense, it still worked.
Description If the other person wants to talk about something and you do not, then you can sometimes shorten the conversation (or even kill it stone dead) by pretending that you know little or nothing about the subject. This is particularly useful when they are seeking information from you. It is not useful when they feel knowledgeable and want somebody else to listen. Apologize and say that you know nothing. If they persist and start talking about the subject anyway, you can continue to profess ignorance or use another method. Example Sorry, but I know nothing about that. I'd love to help, but that's not my area of expertize. Sorry, but I don't understand what you are talking about. Mmm. You're the expert here -- I can't add anything to what you already know. Discussion When you have nothing to say about a subject, then by definition, the conversation gets shorter -- unless the other person decides to tell you all about it. Sometimes people will ask you about something where they know the answer and more -- they just want to start a conversation in which they can expound at length and 'be the expert'. In such cases, other methods of closing the conversation may be more appropriate.
Description There are a number of ways to use the 'introduce a friend' method to close a conversation. When the new person is engaged, you can then excuse yourself and move on. Grab any person nearby, asking them what they think about something. Explain how you can't decide on something. Most people are happy to offer an opinion, even to a stranger. As you go around the room talking with people, remember what each is interested in. Then when you want to back out of a conversation, draw in a person you already know has something to say on the topic. This is easier if you have done a quick circuit of the room first, just listening in to various groups. Take somebody with you when you talk with others. Say 'let's go and talk with that person'. Example Jim, what do you think about this? Let's go and talk with Celia over there. She's very interested in these things. Sorry to trouble you but we're rather stuck here. Do you happen to know the name of the President of France? Discussion Bringing a third person into a conversation does not necessarily end it, but it does add variation. If you want to change the topic, it is easier to do it through a third person, particularly if you get them talking about something in which they are interested. A third person also provides a good excuse to move on as you are not abandoning the other person to stand alone, which is generally not considered very good manners. See also
Description Say that you are busy and have other things you must do. Show your concern for time by looking at your watch (they may get the hint and close the conversation for you). You can also hint ahead by telling the other person at the start of the conversation that you only have a little time. It also can help to give the other person a reason why you have only a limited amount of time. Example I can only spend a couple of minutes on this as I need to catch Jim before he goes. Sorry, I have to go to catch a train. Goodness, is that the time! I promised my husband I'd be home before six. Will this be quick? I've a meeting at ten. Discussion In many situations, particularly ones involving work and family, our calendars are pre-populated with meetings, actions and events. This gives a perfect excuse for many situations. At other time, perhaps at parties and places where you are not going to actually leave, then this excuse is less effective.
Description Use the phone to interrupt the conversation and give you reason to leave. Get a friend to call you. Pre-arrange a number of minutes into the conversation, at which they call you. You can then decide whether to stay or be called away. Set your phone alarm for several minutes in. Get it to sound like a normal ring tone. Answer it and look alarmed. You can then apologize and hurry away. Example Sorry, this looks important. Can I take this call? Do excuse me, I have to call home. Yes...yes...oh dear. Excuse me, there's a panic on in the computer system. I have to go. Discussion The phone has a strange priority in our lives, in that we allow it to butt into conversations where normal visitors might take their turn. This makes it a useful instrument to cause interruptions when they are desirable. The mobile/cell phone has made this excuse much more usable in many situations. So do remember to take your phone with you!
Description Refuse to discuss things now. Put them off to another time. The best procrastination puts things off indefinitely, but to get agreement, you may need to put a definite time on when to resume the topic. You can soften this by recognizing how important the topic is and using this as an excuse to put things off until you have a better setting or more time. Example Can we talk about this another time? I'm not really in the mood now -- let's discuss it tomorrow. This needs quality time, which we don't have now. Can you check my diary and book a meeting. I'm going to have to put this off until next month. Discussion Putting things off is not the same as refusing to ever talk about something. It does provide, however, a good excuse for not talking about something right now. If you recognize that it is important, then rescheduling another time to talk can be quite flattering.
Description When you are asked about something, give short answers, rather than going on at length (remember that you are trying to close things down, not open them up). Keep what you say closely related to what was said before -- you do not want to open up new areas of discussion for the other person. Do not be controversial. Agree rather than disagree. Example Yes, I can see what you mean. I'm not sure. I'll have to think about it. I like that. I'll tell Terry. Discussion Short answers both shorten the conversation by themselves and also give the other person few hooks to pick up on to extend the conversation in another direction.
Description Just s l o w d o w n. Talk at a slower pace. Pause between sentences. Use slow language. Slow down your body too. Breathe more deeply (from the abdomen). curtail those jerky arm movements. Become more relaxed. Rather than suddenly slow down, it can be more effective to gradually slow down. Example Hmm. That's interesting. Mmm. I need to think about that, I think. That's about it. Weeell. Noowww. Mmmmm. Discussion Slowing down can seem like a way of making the conversation longer, but this is not necessarily the case. First, when you slow down, you may slow the other person too. Like slowing down when your are running, slowing the conversation can lead to a complete standstill. When the conversation it slowed, it is easier to call a halt with one of the other methods than when the other person is in full flow, talking nineteen to the dozen.
Description Suddenly notice another person across the room. Wave at them, then excuse yourself to go and see them. You do not need to actually have a friend there, although of course it does help. Add appropriate elaboration to make your case credible, but of course do not over-do this. This is easier when there is a larger crowd of people or you are at a social gathering. Example Good heavens, is that George -- excuse me, I haven't seen old George in donkey's years. I must go and see him. Terribly sorry and all that. Excuse me, I've just seen my wife arrive. Would you mind if I go and talk with her? Sophie! Hi! Excuse me -- I must catch her before she leaves. Discussion This is a very common method of excusing oneself, and hence is reasonably accepted. It is still not terribly polite, as it positions your friend as being more important than the person with whom you are currently talking.
Description Summarize what has been already been said. Take what the other person has said and what you have said and extract the essential points, phrasing them concisely and in clear language. If there are actions to be completed, state these, who will do them and when. Then ask the other person if they agree. You can then test whether there is any other items to talk about before completing. Example So, you want to go to the movies tonight, but James does not want to go out with you. Is that right? Can I check what we have agreed? I am going to talk with Margaret about your problems with the way she is treating you. I'll catch her tomorrow some time. I'll then get back to you on Tuesday. Is that ok for you? Discussion Summarizing sends closure signals to the other person, indicating that there is nothing more to say. This method is often more appropriate in work or other relatively formal situations, where the topic is factual or is otherwise relatively easily summarized.
Computer and English and Internet
Lawrence Vijay Girard = bother vs concern Salwan School Student bother incident Andha vs. blind Many years ago, I asked a friend, (now my wife), from Hong Kong to visit me in Macau (on the south coast of China). She agreed to come the next Saturday afternoon. So I sat around and waited. Two o’clock turned into four o’clock and I finally called her. “I thought you were coming over to visit.” She replied, “I am coming – next Saturday!” What I didn’t realize was that in the Chinese way of counting time, “next” means “the Saturday following this one.” That was my first lesson in communicating across cultures .
"We didn't all come over on the same ship, but we're all in the same boat." - Bernard Baruch, American financier and statesman It's no secret that today's workplace is rapidly becoming vast, as the business environment expands to include various geographic locations and span numerous cultures. What can be difficult, however, is understanding how to communicate effectively with individuals who speak another language or who rely on different means to reach a common goal.. Cross-Cultural Communication – The New Norm The Internet and modern technology have opened up new marketplaces, and allow us to promote our businesses to new geographic locations and cultures. And given that it can now be as easy to work with people remotely as it is to work face-to-face, cross-cultural communication is increasingly the new norm. After all, if communication is electronic, it's as easy to work with someone in another country as it is to work with someone in the next town. And why limit yourself to working with people within convenient driving distance when, just as conveniently, you can work with the most knowledgeable people in the entire world? For those of us who are native English-speakers, it is fortunate that English seems to be the language that people use if they want to reach the widest possible audience. However, even for native English speakers, cross-cultural communication can be an issue: Just witness the mutual incomprehension that can sometimes arise between people from different English-speaking countries. In this new world, good cross-cultural communication is a must. Understanding Cultural Diversity Given different cultural contexts, this brings new communication challenges to the workplace. Even when employees located in different locations or offices speak the same language (for instance, correspondences between English-speakers in the U.S. and English-speakers in the UK), there are some cultural differences that should be considered in an effort to optimize communications between the two parties. In such cases, an effective communication strategy begins with the understanding that the sender of the message and the receiver of the message are from different cultures and backgrounds. Of course, this introduces a certain amount of uncertainty, making communications even more complex. Without getting into cultures and sub-cultures, it is perhaps most important for people to realize that a basic understanding of cultural diversity is the key to effective cross-cultural communications. Without necessarily studying individual cultures and languages in detail, we must all learn how to better communicate with individuals and groups whose first language, or language of choice, does not match our own. Developing Awareness of Individual Cultures However, some learning the basics about culture and at least something about the language of communication in different countries is important. This is necessary even for the basic level of understanding required to engage in appropriate greetings and physical contact, which can be a tricky area inter-culturally. For instance, kissing a business associate is not considered an appropriate business practice in the U.S., but in Paris, one peck on each cheek is an acceptable greeting. And, the handshake that is widely accepted in the U.S. is not recognized in all other cultures. While many companies now offer training in the different cultures where the company conducts business, it is important that employees communicating across cultures practice patience and work to increase their knowledge and understanding of these cultures. This requires the ability to see that a person's own behaviors and reactions are oftentimes culturally driven and that while they may not match are own, they are culturally appropriate. If a leader or manager of a team that is working across cultures or incorporates individuals who speak different languages, practice different religions, or are members of a society that requires a new understanding, he or she needs to work to convey this. Consider any special needs the individuals on your team may have. For instance, they may observe different holidays, or even have different hours of operation. Be mindful of time zone differences and work to keep everyone involved aware and respectful of such differences. Generally speaking, patience, courtesy and a bit of curiosity go a long way. And, if you are unsure of any differences that may exist, simply ask team members. Again, this may best be done in a one-on-one setting so that no one feels "put on the spot" or self-conscious, perhaps even embarrassed, about discussing their own needs or differences or needs. Demand Tolerance Next, cultivate and demand understanding and tolerance. In doing this, a little education will usually do the trick. Explain to team members that the part of the team that works out of the Australia office, for example, will be working in a different time zone, so electronic communications and/or return phone calls will experience a delay. And, members of the India office will also observe different holidays (such as Mahatma Gandhi's Birthday, observed on Oct. 2). Most people will appreciate the information and will work hard to understand different needs and different means used to reach common goals. However, when this is not the case, lead by example and make it clear that you expect to be followed down a path of open-mindedness, acceptance and tolerance. Tip: Tolerance is essential, however you need to maintain standards of acceptable behavior. The following "rules of thumb" seem universal: Team members should contribute to and not hinder the team's mission or harm the delivery to the team's customer. Team members should not damage the cohesion of the team or prevent it from becoming more effective. Team members should not unnecessarily harm the interests of other team members. Other factors (such as national law) are obviously important. When dealing with people in a different culture, courtesy and goodwill can also go a long way in ensuring successful communication. Again, this should be insisted on. If your starting point in solving problems is to assume that communication has failed, you'll find that many problems are quickly resolved. Keep It Simple When you communicate, keep in mind that even though English is considered the international language of business, it is a mistake to assume that every businessperson speaks good English. In fact, only about half of the 800 million people who speak English learned it as a first language. And, those who speak it as a second language are often more limited than native speakers. When you communicate cross-culturally, make particular efforts to keeping your communication clear, simple and unambiguous. And (sadly) avoid humor until you know that the person you're communicating with "gets it" and isn't offended by it. Humor is notoriously culture-specific: Many things that pass for humor in one culture can be seen as grossly offensive in another. And Get Help If You Need It Finally, if language barriers present themselves, it may be in every one's best interest to employ a reliable, experienced translator. Because English is not the first language of many international businesspeople, their use of the language may be peppered with culture-specific or non-standard English phrases, which can hamper the communication process. Again, having a translator on hand (even if just during the initial phases of work) may be the best solution here. The translator can help everyone involved to recognize cultural and communication differences and ensure that all parties, regardless of geographic location and background, come together and stay together through successful project completion.
Whenever two or more people come together, there are bound to be disagreements. These disagreements can be an opportunity for growth and learning, or they can become detrimental to the involved parties and the organisation. When that occurs, conflict exists. The ability to deal with conflicts is undoubtedly one of the most important skills you will need to be successful in your career and life.
There is no one best way to deal with conflict. It depends on the current situation. Here are the major ways that people use to deal with conflict: 1. You can avoid it. Pretend it is not there or ignore it. Use this approach only when it simply is not worth the effort to argue. Be aware that this approach tends to worsen the conflict over time. The avoidance style can best be described as non-confrontational. A person passes over an issue or totally ignores the person with whom he is in conflict. He or she might even deny an issue is a problem. 2. You can accommodate it. You can give in to others, sometimes to the extent that you compromise yourself. Use this approach very sparingly and infrequently, for example, in situations when you know that you will have another more useful approach in the very near future. Usually this approach tends to worsen the conflict over time, and causes conflicts within yourself. A person uses the accommodating style when his behaviour is agreeable and nonassertive. The person cooperates even at the expense of personal goals. 3. You can compete with the others. You can work to get your way, rather than clarifying and addressing the issue. Competitors love accommodators. Use this approach when you have a very strong conviction about your position. A person is confrontational aggressive and must win at all costs. He totally disregards the needs of the other person. 5. Collaborating. You can focus on working together. Use this approach when the goal is to meet as many current needs as possible by using mutual resources. This approach sometimes raises new mutual needs. Collaboration can also be used when the goal is to cultivate ownership and commitment. Problem-solving style – when both partner have a high degree of respect of reach other and consider the needs of the other. 4. Compromising. You can engage in mutual give-and-take. This approach is used when the goal is to get past the issue and move on together. A person using the compromising style when he is both assertive and cooperative. In the process, the person gives up something in order to gain something and will only be partially satisfied.
These 5 styles result form various combinations of assertiveness and cooperation. Exercises: Avoid: Wayne tries to solve problems by denying their existence. He is nonconfrontational and may ignore or pass over the issue. Accommodate: Shweta gives up something and plays down her differences with Uma. They have surface harmony. Shweta is agreeable and nonassertive. She is cooperative even at the expense of her personal goals and is at times resentful. Compete: Julie is confrontational and aggressive. She must win at all costs. She often uses her position of authority to get what she wants. Compromise: Mary is willing to give up something in order to meet Sara midway. She is both assertive and cooperative. Collaborate: Beth and Mark recognize the legitimate needs of the other. They respect each other’s ability, values, and expertise. When managing their conflict, each allows the other person to openly state his position and listens attentively.
Art of conversation
Start liking people. Everyone has something to share, tell or teach.Listen to them and respond to what they say and how they feel.
• Go-ahead spirit, a contagious enthusiasm and a positive outlook.• Always carry enough visiting cards.• Prepare 5 current issues, anecdotes, jokes and general quotations.
Know your audienceBefore you go anywhere, think about what you have commonwith the people attending the event.
Be approachableBe pleasant and have asmile on your face whenyou go to speak tosomeone you dont know.The more approachableyou seem, the moreinclined the person will beto talk to you.
The first few secondsare terribly critical asyou do not get asecond chance to havea positive firstimpression.
Ask them easy questionsKeep the tough stuff until later• Easy topics are: weather, news, family, history, work, holidays, hobbies and sports.• Avoid potentially contentious topics.• Examples: – Isnt it a great day? Did you get out in the sunshine, today? – Did you hear about the accident down town? Isnt it awful? – Do you have a brother called Joe?
Ask them about themselvesA very powerful technique• Ask their name, compliment about appearance, ask about their family, occupation, career plans, hobbies, interest. Show interest.• If you sense uncomfortability back off.• Example – You look thoughtful. Whats up? – What are you going to do this weekend? – I do like your dress -- where did you get it?
Check your listBe ready to ask and answer• Prepare a list of general and technical topics and keep them with you.• Example: – Boy dating: concert next month, her family, dance the salsa – Sales person: things to ask customers
Use environmental triggersLook for ideas around you• Look around: architecture, plants, music, dress worn by people, food.• Example – Look at that woman over there! Ive never seen such a weird dress!! – Thats Aquarius up there. Whats your star sign? Perhaps I can find it in the heavens for you.
Get to the pointSometimes niceties are not nice• Business conversations esp. with busy seniors, little time, other person has something specific• Danger that you might misread and offend.• Example – A child interrupts its mother just as the doorbell goes and whilst she is on the phone, asking permission to go out with friends. The mother quickly agrees. – A sales person, seeing a busy professional buyer, asks just enough business-focused questions to understand the buying context before getting to more serious sales talk.
GreetingGet the formal start done well• Look them in the eye (x stare)• Smile (genuinely)• Project confidence• Say their name• Namaste, hi, kiss etc.• Shake hands (firm)• Introduce your self
Introduce yourselfTell them a bit about you• Mention your name, occupation, family or hobbies.• Add something brave or daring you might have done.• Sales: add description of what you can do for the other person.• Do not tell too much about yourself at once.• Example – Hello. Im Prabbal Frank, your union representative. I can help you with any employment issues you have. – Oh, Im no good with computers. Its good to meet someone who knows what they are talking about.
• Be an initiator and an introducer• 7 – 10 sec long (else – speech) and generates curiosity.• Deliver with energy and enthusiasm. Sync your tone with body language• Have a firm handshake• Give your business card, “Here’s my card.”• Party in progress – Avoid two people – Approach single or group - Stand in the periphery and nod occasionally
Say something wrongSo they can correct you• Say some simple factual error so that they can easily correct you and take the position of an expert. When they correct you, thank them and be impressed else let them persuade you about the correctness.• Example – Prakrima isa German band, I hear. – Now Ive been told you are from New Delhi, is that right?
Script the startWrite out the first few words beforehand• Write out a script for important events and memorize it to prevent faltering in situations which make you nervous.• Example – A sales person practices her pitch in front of the mirror. – A boy who gets nervous with girls writes out a number of chat- up lines and learns to deliver them with wit and aplomb. – A person who is being given an award scripts the first part of the thank you and practices it with a friend.
Shock and aweSurprise them with something different• Do or say something surprising (nor terrifying) to create awe and wonder. Surprise happens when you break expectations (and meditation too – ZEN)• Example – Have you ever tried fighting a crocodile? Its not easy, I can tell you. – (shouting) Good heavens! You are the most beautiful person I have seen!!
Wit and wisdomAmaze them with your wit• Open the conversation with some witty or cogent remark that is designed to amaze, annoy or otherwise trigger an interesting discussion (esp. if you can affort to let out a few in a group).• Example – I wonder how people have time to come to these things. Anyone here must be a complete layabout, wouldnt you say? – My dog wanted to come tonight, but he didnt have a suitable tie. – If I were you, I would be careful about being seen with someone like me.
Oscar Wilde• It is very sad to see that nowadays there is so little useless information around.• The only thing worse in the world than being talked about is not being talked about.• The husbands of very beautiful women often belong to the criminal classes.• A man can be happy with any woman, so long as he does not love her.
Talk Eloquently• Maintain an appropriate volume.• Use words of a sensory nature. These are words such as "see", "imagine", "feel", "tell", "sense", etc., in order to encourage the other person to keep painting a descriptive picture as part of their conversation.• Accept criticism
Mind YourBody language• Maintain appropriate distance• Avoid touching while talking• Nod while you listen
• Which highlight their expertise.• Don’t ask questions which are personal in nature.• Ask open ended questions. – begin with: Who? When? What? Why? Where? and How? "What sort of books do you like?", "What did you study at university?", "Which is your favorite season? Why?", "What are you doing right now?", "Wheres your usual watering hole?” – Closed questions (are you? do you? have you?) "Do you like books?", "Have you been to university?", "Is spring your favorite season?", "Am I intruding?" "Do you come here often?” Ask Questions
Specific techniques to keep theconversation interesting and livelysuch that the other person doesnot want to leave!
Ask their opinionOn any topic• Ask what should be done reg. – work, home, locally, nationally or what will happen next or what do they think about a person. Then listen. (Makes him an expert)• Example – If you were the President, what would you do about education? – Were going out tonight -- what restaurant would you recommend? – How has Aarti been performing? Do you think she is ready for promotion?
Concern for the personEmpathy always works• Enquire about their career, health and happiness and offer them ideas to improve.• Example – Hello, Jane. I was worried about you last week. Were you ill? – Perhaps you should take a few days off to think things over. What do you think?
Interest in the personAsk about their lives• Ask about past events and boost their belongingness and esteem.• Example – So what did you get up to at the weekend, Gaurav? – Which train do you catch? What do you think of the service?
LinkingConnect what is said to other things• (hyper) Link what is being said to other things you are interested in, things already said, to the goals, current events etc.• Example – You mentioned diamonds before -- Ive got a friend in the business who can get discounts -- would you like me to put you in touch with her? – You seem to be ahead of the times -- we are just doing early work on this.
Plans for the futureTalk about what will or might happen• Talk about the next vacation, the next course, the next weekend, the next assignment etc.• Example – I remember you said you really enjoyed skiing last year. Are you going again this year? – Im really looking forward to this weekend -- were going walking in the mountains. – Now that youve been promoted, what are you going to do with the department?
Progressive disclosureTell a bit about yourself at a time• Start will simple facts and add on to include religion, political views, likes etc. Do not overload them or dump your emotional problems on them when they are not ready or willing to listen to such issues.• Example – ...Hi, my names Jan. ... – ...Ive been here for five years. When did you start? ... – ...I dont like on the food there ... – ...Im having an operation next week ...
Tell storiesUse the power of the storyteller• Stories are like movies, they bring fresh life for your audience. Be an actor. Synchronize your movements, expressions and voice.• Example – My brother tried that too and, well, it was so funny, he thought he could ... ... and then she pushed him back in the pool, turned around and walked away without a word! – I heard a very sad story on the news last night about a couple who…
Topical eventsTalk about news and recent events• Discuss something which has been announced and is going to happen. Speculate.• Example – Did you hear about the fire down town? It was right over the road from the fire station, but apparently they still took five minutes to get there... – I just heard that CEO is coming to the office next week. Last time he came he fired five people. Do you know why he would want to visit us?
Topic listBuild yourself a bag of interesting topics• Develop your own list of things to talk about with other people.• Keep a notepad with you and listen to other peoples conversations. Make notes about good topics of conversation. Make particular notes about the opening words.
To interrupt and walk awayfrom somebody might makeyou wonder if they will thinkbadly of you for this terriblesocial act. If you do it well, you will only leave themwith a warm glow.
Be negativeBe generally negative• Be pessimistic and see only the bad side of things. Grumble about how things are not going well for you. Tell them about your illnesses.• Example – Oh God. My back hurts. You cant begin to know how uncomfortable it is. You know I had to fix the roof guttering last week because I cant afford to employ someone, and it all just got so much worse.
Body pointingPointing your body away from the otherperson• Send subconscious signals through your body by turning your body towards another person or towards the door/exit.
Caught shortSay you need to go to the toilet• You can signal this by twitching subtly beforehand. Look slightly embarrassed to be asking to be excused and they will hurry to give you permission.• Example – Er..sorry, I need to go to the toilet. – Back in a mo. Just going to point Percy at the porcelain!
Closed questionsCreate short answers• Open questions lead to long answers, whilst closed questions lead to short answers, typically one word, such as yes and no.• Example – Thats an interesting thought. Are you ready now? – So, you want to go to France this summer, is that right? – Do you know what you want now?
Declare completionSay that the conversation is ended• Asserting completion can be an effective method of completion, especially when you are in position of seniority.• Example – I think thats about it. Ive nothing more to say about that. – Are we done? – Thats enough about sausages for now.
Excuse yourselfJust excuse yourself and leave• This does not have to be valid or even particularly sensible.• Example – Excuse me, but I have to go now. – I have to get off now. Is that ok? – I must leave because I have to go now.
Feign ignoranceBe unable to answer their questions• Pretend you now little or nothing about the subject. Useful when people are seeking info from you.• Example – Sorry, but I know nothing about that. – Id love to help, but thats not my area of expertise. – Sorry, but I dont understand what you are talking about.
Introduce a friendSo you can excuse yourself• Example – Jim, what do you think about this? – Lets go and talk with Celia over there. Shes very interested in these things. – Sorry to trouble you but were rather stuck here. Do you happen to know….
Out of timeHave another appointment• Show your concern for time by looking at your watch. You can also tell at the start of the conversation that you only have a little time.• Example – I can only spend a couple of minutes on this as I need to catch Jim before he goes. – Sorry, I have to go to catch a train. – Goodness, is that the time! I promised my wife Id be home before six. – Will this be quick? Ive a meeting at ten.
Phone callsUse the phone to call you away• Pre-arrange a number of minutes into the conversation, at which they call you. You can then decide whether to stay or be called away.• Example – Sorry, this looks important. Can I take this call? – Do excuse me, I have to call home. – Yes...yes...oh dear. Excuse me, theres a panic on in the computer system. I have…
ProcrastinatingPutting discussion off to another time• Putting things off is not the same as refusing to ever talk about something.• Example – Can we talk about this another time? – Im not really in the mood now -- lets discuss it tomorrow. – This needs quality time, which we dont have now. Can you check my diary and book a meeting. – Im going to have to put this off until next month.
Short answersThat give no reason to extend• Keep what you say closely related to what was said before -- you do not want to open up new areas of discussion for the other person.• Example – Yes, I can see what you mean. – Im not sure. Ill have to think about it. – I like that. Ill tell Terry.
Slow downDe-accelerate to a standstill• First, when you slow down, you may slow the other person too. Like slowing down when your are running, slowing the conversation can lead to a complete standstill.• Example – Hmm. Thats interesting. Mmm. I need to think about that, I think. – Thats about it. Weeell. Noowww. Mmmmm.
Spot a friendWave to a friend and go to see them• Suddenly notice another person across the room. Wave at them, then excuse yourself to go and see them. You do not need to actually have a friend there, although of course it does help.• Example – Good heavens, is that George -- excuse me, I havent seen old George in donkeys years. I must go and see him. Terribly sorry and all that. – Excuse me, Ive just seen my wife arrive. Would you mind if I go and talk with her? – Sophie! Hi! Excuse me -- I must catch her before she leaves.
SummarizeDescribe the essence of what has been said• Often more appropriate in work or other relatively formal situations.• Example – So, you want to go to the movies tonight, but James does not want to go out with you. Is that right? – Can I check what we have agreed? I am going to talk with Margaret about your problems with the way she is treating you. Ill catch her tomorrow some time. Ill then get back to you on Tuesday. Is that ok for you?
“Despite popular beliefs to the contrary, the single greatestbarrier to business success is the one erected by culture."Edward T. Hall and Mildred Reed HallHidden Differences: Doing Business with the Japanese
• Understand Cultural Diversity• Developing Awareness of Individual Cultures – Japan: cards; UK: time; Punjab: Hospitality (Grover - Tea) – Kissing a business associate is not considered an appropriate business practice in the U.S., but in Paris, one peck on each cheek is an acceptable greeting. – The handshake that is widely accepted in the U.S. is not recognized in all other cultures.• Demand Tolerance – Open mindedness, acceptance• Keep it simple and avoid humour