Business is all about communication.
Whether you’re the CEO of a large company or just starting out on the ground floor of a new tech startup, communication is going to be the key to your continued success.
We all know that everyone is different and each person comes with their own quirks, but there are a few quick-and-dirty tricks we can use to connect with just about anyone in a positive way! To some people, these 6 skills will come completely naturally, whereas some of us need to work on them daily to ensure we have clear and effective communication with everyone we encounter.
So before you have any more awkward, negative or misconstrued communication with anyone, let’s go over the top 6 things you can do to make it all a bit more pleasant.
Successful Business Communication Hacks
1. Strong Eye Contact
There’s a good reason eyes have been dubbed the “window to your soul”. In fact, did you know that it’s not only the direction that you’re looking that sends signals to your conversational partner? Tiny things such as pupil dilation, widening of the eyes, and blink rates can also send powerful messages.
So why do you need good eye contact when it comes to business? Well, much of the time if you are trying to strike a deal, pin down a new client or create a bond with staff, you’re going to want them to trust you. Eye contact goes a long way in the realm of trust-building. People who are good at maintaining eye contact are often seen as more believable and trustworthy than they’re looky-lou counterparts.
Since our brains are programmed to automatically read emotions and important social signals just from looking in another’s eyes, it’s a good idea to work on your eye contact before your next big meeting.
2. Genuine Smiles
It’s hard not to like someone who greets you with a wide, genuine smile, but did you know that there’s much more to that smile than you might think? Much like yawns, smiles are actually contagious to other people. When we see someone smiling, our brain automatically mimics the process and smiles back.
So what does this mean for professional relationships? Well, if we start at the beginning, each time you smile, your brain releases feel-good chemicals that affect your entire body and with smiles being contagious, your encouraging others to release these chemicals as well. This creates a sort of bond between people and a subconscious like for one another.
So if you want people to instantly like you, smiling is your best bet! You can’t get much better than releasing feel-good brain chemicals in another person!
3. Common Ground
This one is pretty easy and straight forward. No matter who you meet in your lifetime, you will have something in common with each and every one of them, making for the perfect opportunity to make a new friend. The tricky part is figuring out what that thing is.
When you meet someone for the first time, look for cues that might suggest you have something in common. For example, maybe you meet at a party and notice you are both drinking red wine. Or perhaps you were both invited somewhere by a friend you have in common.
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If you think about it, almost every question you ask when you first meet someone is to determine whether or not you have something in common. Questions like, “What do you do for work?”, “Where are you from?” and “What school did you go to?” are easy ice breakers that can lead to having a lot of things in common like friends, hobbies or even relatives.
Next time you’re stuck at a party and don’t know what to say, think of something you may have in common with the other person. Not only will you break the ice, but you’ll have an instant connection as well.
4. Secret Synchronization
Since business can quite often be very competitive, one great way to “level the playing field” during communication is mirroring. Mirroring, or synchronization, is when you deliberately copy what the other person is doing to show a united front. Making one person no better than the other and no one feeling superior or inferior.
Often times, synchronization can come as a subconscious response, such as taking a sip of your coffee when someone else does or reciprocating a smile, but it can also be a very useful tool for persuading others to like us.
While there are some very fine lines in mirroring others that we shouldn’t cross, it is often just the ticket for getting others to be comfortable with you and build quick and lasting rapport.
5. Use Names
This one can be especially tricky for those of us who are notoriously bad at remembering names, but taking a few extra seconds to memorize someone’s name in your head could lead to them liking you a lot better!
Research has shown that when you use someone’s name in conversation, it causes them to feel validated and therefore have feelings of positivity towards you for saying it. Another school of thought says that people hearing their own name is the sweetest sound in any language.
Since our names are such a huge part of our identity, we like knowing that someone took the time to remember, and use our names even if we just met. Try this next time you meet someone and see how it goes, we bet you’ll end up with a great new friend!