Building Trust— Engaged Conversation
One of my favorite things to go over with clients is Albert Mehrabian’s 7-38-55 rule of Personal Communication. Which suggests that words only account for 7% of personal communication, while things like the pitch, tone, speed, rhythm and other non-verbal elements dictate the rest of the meaning. Now whether you agree with his ‘rule’ or not, I can get most people to agree that it’s not just about what you say, how you say “it” plays a huge factor. People hear the same thing differently all the time. Anyone remember that childhood game of telephone? Which again reinforces the need to have clear communication that furthers a relationship. One way to do this is to have Engaged Conversations.
- Listen to understand.
- Most people listen with the intent to respond, don’t be that person. One of the easiest ways to show that you care about someone is to truly listen and seek to understand what they’re saying—not what you think they’re saying.
- Speak transparently and directly.
- Transparently and directly does not mean loudly and bluntly. Transparency refers more to honesty and not trying to keep secrets or hide things from people. When you go off into the corner of the room and speak softly with someone, that can get easily misinterpreted. And directly simply refers to saying what you mean and meaning what you say—being direct doesn’t require you to be confrontational.
- Embrace feedback graciously.
- Feedback does not mean conflict. Try and get to the point in a relationship where they embrace feedback because they know you’re only trying to help make them better.
- Demonstrate genuine caring.
- Again, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. There’s lots of ways to demonstrate genuine caring, start with listening and find out what makes sense to you both.
- Close with mutual action.
- What are you going to do to keep the relationship moving forward—what can you both do moving forward to help improve the relationship?
Situational Awareness not just for the other person but your own self!
So, as we come together in the days a weeks ahead, take these tips to heart. Good situational awareness works regardless of where we are, personally or professionally. Am I in the right frame of mind to speak? Will what I’m saying be harmful or helpful? Are we moving toward better? Focusing on the good will give us good things to be thankful for.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Bovo-Tighe.