So how do we make a positive impression on others?
When I started my business I was super keen, really fired up! I don't mean that I am not super keen now and my fire is still burning, but it is more like a hot coals kind of slow burn than the pure excitement and almost nervous energy that afflict us when we start something new.
I was into every store handing out flyers, every social event I was like 'hey I am starting my own business!' If I had been able to get on my roof I probably would have shouted it from the rooftop.
But hey STOP!
Looking back It was just too much for me, too much for others.
So when we make an impression on others whether it is to talk about our business or just to feel like we are making a connection it is not about us. No no no! It is actually all about THEM - the other person.
It is important skill to be able to' enter someone else's world' to start to understand what they are feeling, what they might be thinking, explore where they maybe coming from!
We can't just assume that we know what that is - we need to be open to learning about the other person's point of view and finding out what is going on for them.
After all as the saying goes to assume makes an 'ass' out of 'u' and 'me'.
I recently had a call from an interested coachee, and after discussing what would be good for them in terms of coaching I asked where they had heard of me and my practice. I was astounded to hear that it was due to one of my mariposa coaching pencils that they had come across that led to them visiting my website and wanting to book in!
So what was the power of influence in this situation?
Was it the pencil? Could the power of influence in this case be a mere pencil? That pencil had made a connecton so to speak although I had designed it obviously!! Let's not give that pencil higher power than it has. However it was that pencil had caught the imagination and then had led to my website being explored. Something so small but so significant.
Was it my website?
Or was it the discussion that started to create positive influence?
Everything we do in connection with others is significant and I wanted to write this article so that you make the best of the influence at your fingertips to influence others in a positive way and create really productive connections with others.
I have been lucky enough to have experience of training staff to develop rapport within a professional setting, to enable them to understand the power of their influence and draw on this power to create constructive relationships.
One of the fundamental areas of developing a positive influence links to something called 'rapport'. Creating rapport with others is important because it forms that all important connection with another person. Rapport means you connect to the other person by paying attention to them and listening to what they are saying and experiencing. It is entering 'their world' and it's a two way process as they enter your world too. You both disclose information to each other, trust is built and your connection occurs in a psychological and emotional way. Pretty powerful stuff hey?!
So the question is how can you enter someone else's world, how can you use your personal power to influence?
I use a metaphor of Alice in Wonderland in my coaching and training and often draw upon the characters when we are considering interpersonal skills. A recent coachee wonderfully described Alice as 'curious Alice'. When we are building rapport with others and creating a positive influence we are just that - curious.
If you are curious about the other person you want to learn more about them, about their world. You ask questions and as you learn about them there is a congruence like a dance you take a step and they follow and then they fall in with their step. A genuineness is created which links to being able to turn off any assumptions (see ass u & me above) in order to really start to learn about the other person. This in turn increases your influence as the trust increases and your communication starts to 'match' the other person. This does not mean you have to agree with them but you start to connect in a way that is open and honest and starts effective communication. You express what you think and feel and enable the other person to do the same as you withold judgement and explore your curiosity. The other person feels valued and heard.
As trust increases so does your positive influence and this conversation will be memorable - you will make a positive impact.
We often do this of course without realising it but when our lives get busy and we have worries and concerns in our heads, thinking about what we are going to do next, we often forget how powerful it is to take a step back and really listen to others and suspend judgement to find out more.
To sum up the 3 main tips for effective communication so you create positive influence and connect well with others are:
1 Be a good listener - seek to learn more
2 Don't judge (assume) - suspend judgement to build rapport
3 See things from the others person's point of view
So making a good impression, creating a positive influence with others is really about doing less and letting the other person do more. In the case of the pencil example above I would not have found out about the pencil - website - phone call experience that my coachee had been through had I not been curious.
What attracted you to call me for coaching I said.
Well..there was this pencil....
Please feel free to check out my website or give me a call for coaching and training needs.