Remembering the Details
Posted by Anni M.
Interpersonal communication is a complex dance. We must pay careful attention to nonverbal cues, asides, facial expressions, and context. We must be cautious about the information we share and must always strive to strike a delicate balance between listening and talking. The stakes are high: if our communication style is too forceful or shy, too talkative or quiet, we risk alienating the people around us. This has obvious consequences in the business world where communication is the most important single factor for success. But it pours out into the rest of your life too. If you’re a good interpersonal communicator you likely have strong family and romantic relationships. You have strong friendships. These relationships are critically important for your health and happiness. So, today, I’d like to tackle another important element of solid communication: remembering details about the people in your life.
It’s hard to underestimate how far a simple comment like, “how are the kids?” can go. It can go even further if you remember their names, where they go to school, and how they’re doing in their classes. The more details you remember, the more it seems like you care. It may sound crass, but it doesn’t much matter whether or not you actually care, as long as the person you’re talking to feels like you do. In conversation, we learn intimate details about people. We learn about their families, their homes, and their hobbies. We learn what they like and dislike. Think of these details as a kind of currency. Again, since we’re primarily concerned with the business context, we’re not talking about making friends. We’re talking about forming alliances.
Friendship may be a happy side effect of skillful business communicating but put that aside for a moment. In the office, you are focused on getting work done efficiently. You must form comfortable working relationships with your colleagues to make that happen. Moreover, you want your colleagues to respect and admire you and your work, just as you respect and admire them and theirs.
People love to talk about themselves. We are all concerned, first and foremost, with the people and events in our own lives. When someone thinks to inquire into our lives, we feel flattered. Our defenses come down. We open up. We share more details about ourselves. Cultivate warm feelings by demonstrating your active interest in the lives of the people around you.
As a Creative Communications Strategist, Victoria is known for her electrifying Keynote Performances™ and the transformational workshops and coaching sessions she creates for elite executives, high performing teams, thought leaders and entrepreneurs. BOOK VICTORIA.
As a Creative Communications Strategist, Victoria is known for her electrifying Keynote Performances™ and the transformational workshops and coaching sessions she creates for elite executives, high performing teams, thought leaders and entrepreneurs..