It's Not All About "Me"

Dreeke, Robin

The key to remember when practicing each of the techniques is that each builds upon the last and that not all the individuals you will be chatting with are ready to receive the gift you are about to give them… the gift of a great conversation with you.

Smiling is a great baseline behavior to exhibit in order to establish rapport, but it can be accentuated through the subtle use of a few other nonverbal head displays. Adding a slight head tilt shows the other person that you have comfort with them and trust them. Another nonverbal to try and maintain is a slightly lower chin angle.

Toward the end of the discussion, I clearly remember one of my friends leaning over to me as we were standing in the conversation circle and quietly saying, “We all know how credible you are Robin. When you speak that fast you lose your credibility. Slow it down so you are not overselling, and stop appearing as though you are trying to sell us a bad used car.”

Demonstrate thoughtfulness in your actions and, more important, your words to every individual in your life, and I predict those relationships will greatly be enhanced.

For example, in my dialogue with my friend above, at one point, he described how the young man who came over to date his daughter didn’t have much respect for him. If my friend had stopped there, and I wanted him to elaborate without seeming to pushy, I could simply repeat what he just said, “He didn’t have much respect for you?”

Finally, use a summary at the end of the conversation. Similar to the other techniques, the summary serves a few purposes. First, it will act like paraphrasing in that it will demonstrate to the other person that you were listening. Second, like paraphrasing, the summary will help you remember the content of the conversation for future conversations.

I generally will give either material or non-material gifts.