You are not about to get a ‘hey man’ poetic post on the wonders of looking at a tree for hours (although I am a tree fan)... but I do like this image. Communication without words - and a sense of inner calm.
But actually, this is a very down to earth post - with 2 effective tactics to include in your communication toolkit. Both tactics involve being quiet.
1. Silencing your inner critic
2. Silencing your urge to talk
To demonstrate how this silence to client journey works - I would like you to picture yourself in a business related situation - one where you need to ‘impress’ and ‘influence’ - a networking event or a first meeting with a prospective client.
Are you there?
Right - now think about any thoughts inside your mind that are having a negative effect on your confidence. Every one of these nagging noisy voices are a potential barrier between you and those you seek to communicate effectively with. Some of these inner noises are thoughts and some are feelings - all of them are barriers.
don't look right
nothing funny to say
too old /young/short
not as good as them
not being me
Lack of confidence
Out of comfort zone
Fear of looking stupid
Fear of being ‘caught out’
A sense of being an ‘alien’
An unease about ‘selling’
So - we have established that there is a lot of noise inside a mind!
Even if you only have one or two of the above thoughts, you are not going to do the best job at building relationships with prospects or coming across as the trusted, credible, likeable person you really are. New contacts do not know you - they will be very swayed by their first impressions. If you are even slightly caught up in the swamp of your over-thinking over-anxious mind - it will put a barrier up.
You will communicate far more effectively - and feel far more confident - and enjoy these meetings more - if you silence the inner voices!
However - that is easier said than done. So how?
Well - good news - these 'pesky gremlins' do not have free will! You are totally in control of them - it just doesn’t feel that way sometimes.
So - 4 steps to shutting out the unhelpful 'noise' in your head
- rational reasoning.
- repeat the rational reasoning on a regular basis - it becomes easier with practice.
- put your full focus on what is going on OUTSIDE your head!
- shift your focus to the other person.
This leads to the second silence tactic - not talking!
The more your resist the urge to hear the sound of your own voice and give yourself up to active listening - the more likely you are to gain a client!
The greatest gift you can give is to listen to someone. Therefore, If a person feels listened to they feel like they are in a very good place - and YOU are the cause.
Whilst it feels like you didn’t actually do anything - you so did.
Not only does talking less mean you give the gift of listening - you also pick up clues in a forensic manner (many of you will know I am a frustrated forensic scientist). Within these clues will be the key to building rapport and we all know where that leads - rapport, trust, influence - NEW CLIENT!
To know you are not going to be interrupted - that is bliss. It allows your mind to dive, to skate to the edge and leap, to look under rocks, twirl, sit, calculate, stir, toss the familiar and watch new ideas billow down. The fact that the person can relax in the knowledge that you are not going to take over, talk, interrupt, manoeuvre or manipulate is one of the key reasons they can think so well around you..
Nancy Kline - Time to Think
To sum up - here's a daft drawing to illustrate the sequence - from silence to satisfaction and success!