Ended: March 23, 2016
Technique 1: Establishing Artificial Time Constraints
Technique 2: Accommodating Nonverbals
Smiling is the number one nonverbal technique you should utilize to look more accommodating.
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. High chin angles give the impression of looking down your nose at someone and that you are aloof or better than them. The
Another favorite accommodating nonverbal I like to use is body angle. Especially when meeting someone for the first time it is important to have a nonthreatening body angle. When two people stand toe to toe, it can be very intimidating, especially if they are strangers. A slight body angle or blade away from the individual you are engaging will present a much more accommodating nonverbal.
The main objective in all engagements is simple; the person you are engaging must leave the conversation and interaction feeling better for having met you.
I always want to ensure that I do not give the impression that I have romantic interests in any target, male or female. For that reason, I always rely upon a theme that I am trying to do something very special for my wife. I also strongly believe in sticking to the truth; if you are ever caught in a lie or deception, the relationship is damaged greatly.
The final accommodating nonverbal that is easy to incorporate into your behavior is the handshake. An accommodating handshake is one that matches the strength of the other, and also takes more of a palm up angle. Note
Technique 3: Slower Rate of Speech
When individuals speak slowly and clearly, they tend to sound more credible than those who speak quickly.
As an extroverted individual converses with other people, the energy level of the individual increases. The increased energy level often-times will manifest itself in a higher rate of speech. Approximately 50% of the population has a preference for extroversion.
Whenever I have a conversation that I believe is important for me to be credible in my content, I purposely slow down the delivery and take pauses for people to absorb the content of what I have just said.
Technique 4: Sympathy or Assistance Theme
When the request is simple, of limited duration, and non-threatening, we are more inclined to accommodate the request. As human beings, we are biologically conditioned to accommodate requests for assistance. The compulsion is based upon the fact that our ancient ancestors knew that if they did not provide assistance when asked, the assistance would not be granted to them if requested at a later date. Each of us carries the genetics for this as a survival mechanism.
Technique 5: Ego Suspension
Have you ever heard someone who made a false statement and NOT corrected them? Suspending an individual’s ego is probably the most challenging, as well as effective techniques out of all ten that we will cover together. The ego is directly linked to so many of our interpersonal interactions, if not all of them. Human beings are genetically coded to be self-centered, or ego-centric, for our survival. When our ancient ancestors were a hunter-gatherer society, if an individual did not look after his or her own needs in those harsh environments, the chances of passing along the genes to offspring were pretty low. Suspending our individual ego is the most difficult because of our genetics. Conversely, it is one of the best techniques to utilize when an individual chooses to have a positive interaction and attain rapid rapport.
Suspending your ego is nothing more complex than putting other individuals’ wants, needs, and perceptions of reality ahead of your own. Most times, when two individuals engage in a conversation, each patiently waits for the other person to be done with whatever story he or she is telling. Then, the other person tells his or her own story, usually on a related topic and often times in an attempt to have a better and more interesting story. Individuals practicing good ego suspension would continue to encourage the other individual to talk about his or her story, neglecting their own need to share what they think is a great story.
Human beings are not genetically coded to care as much about others and their stories as much as they care about their own. Self-centeredness is genetically coded in each of us because, without it, our ancestors would not have survived. Common etiquette and courtesy dictates that individuals be given equal time to share their own story of the events in their own life. Those individuals who allow others to continue talking without taking their own turn are generally regarded as the best conversationalists. These individuals are also sought after when friends or family need someone to listen without judgment. They are the best at building quick and lasting rapport.
Thinking clearly, setting objectives, and suspending your ego in furtherance of the set objectives is invaluable in any interpersonal engagement.
Technique 6: Validate Others
The simplest validation that can be given to another individual is simply listening. The action doesn’t require any proactive effort aside from the incessant need each of us has to tell our own story.
The difficulty most of us have is keeping from interjecting our own thoughts, ideas, and stories during the conversation. True validation coupled with ego suspension means that you have no story to offer, that you are there simply to hear theirs.
The number one thing on his list was that an agent should not take out his cell phone and either take a call or start e-mailing or texting when meeting with the source. He went on to say that it demonstrated that there are many other things more important than the source. That is a really bad message to send anyone in your life whom you value.
Validation Technique 2: Thoughtfulness
Thoughtfulness is probably the most commonly used of the validation techniques but in a limited manner. I want to emphasize it here because I have found through my practical application of these techniques, as well as study of personality types, that few people naturally use this to its fullest potential, and, most of the time, we don’t realize when it is being used; all we know is we really like the person who gives it.
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. The effect is easily used on strangers as well. I began carrying both hand sanitizer as well as chewing gum wherever I go. While standing in a line at a store or sitting chatting with strangers or friends, I will take out either and offer it to another individual first. The positive effect is immediate and the individual is generally very receptive to conversation.
Validation Technique 3: Validate Thoughts and Opinions
Most human beings are very self-centered. We are biologically bred to be self-centered as a survival mechanism. That is why when in stressful survival type situations, our natural inclinations are to take care of our own safety first then the needs of others. That is also why when we witness what we consider heroic acts of others, we are recognizing how some individuals have defied their own genetics and biology and made a choice to put others’ needs and wants first. These are considered admirable qualities because they go against our innate egocentric survival mechanisms.
Validating the thoughts and opinions of others is very powerful but can also be very difficult because of our innate need to correct others and the difficulty we have suppressing our own egos.
I have found one of the most effective methods for getting individuals to do what I want them to do is to have them come up with my idea then I validate their idea. For
Technique 7: Ask… How? When? Why?
There are a few more techniques associated with asking “how, when, and why” that I feel are equally important that you should attempt to incorporate: - Minimal encouragers - Reflective questions - Emotional labeling - Paraphrasing - Pauses - Summarize
People have gotten so used to people not giving them their full attention that when you do, it is the most wonderful and cheapest gift and rapport builder on earth. Paraphrasing can be both an excellent tool at establishing that you are listening, and it also can serve as a reflective type of questioning but on a much broader scale.
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. Finally, the summary is great if there were any favors asked or commitments made. The summary eliminates any confusion on these points if they were not clear during the original discussion. Being clear about the content, obligations, or commitments made during the conversations keeps misunderstanding and potential hurt feelings later on at a minimum.
Technique 8: Connect With Quid Pro Quo
Sometimes you have to give to get. Quid pro quo refers to the art of giving a little information about yourself to get a little from others. Out of all of the techniques, this one is the most subtle and if all of the others techniques are working effectively, might not be used at all.
In my experiences, there are really only two types of situations where I have utilized quid pro quo. The first and more common of the instances is when you attempt to converse with someone who is either very introverted, guarded, or both. The second instance is when the person you are conversing with suddenly becomes very aware about how much they have been speaking, and they suddenly feel awkward. In both instances, giving a little information about you will help alleviate some of the issues.
Mankind’s ancestors were hunters / gatherers. Being part of a hunter / gatherer society meant that when the hunters would go on a hunt, not all would be successful. The hunters would return to camp, and the ones that had success would either share or not share the food they had procured. The hunters that didn’t share would likewise not have food shared with them, if they found themselves in the situation where they were unsuccessful or became sick or invalid. The hunters that shared or “gift gave,” were taken care of and given food in reciprocity for the gifts of food that they gave earlier on. The genetics of the survivors were then passed on; in other words, gift giving or reciprocal altruism is in each of our genetic codes. Human beings in general have a compulsion to reciprocate gifts given. Social norms can often times enhance this desire, but regardless, it exists at the genetic level.
The key to the success of the last story was that I started the gift giving, and did so without any expectation of reciprocity. When individuals give gifts or do kind deeds with an agenda at the forefront of their mind, it demeans the value of the gift, and has the appearance of insincerity. The key to being a successful gift giver is to manage your expectations and keep the focus on them.
Technique 10: Manage Expectations
Ultimately we can never predict the actions of others, no matter how skilled we are at these techniques. The surest way however of not being disappointed is to ensure that we manage our expectations before ever commencing an engagement. Along with managing our expectations, we need to keep the focus on the needs and the perception of the other person, because it really is not all about me.