What are the key areas of interpersonal communications?
Here I briefly explain 21 things you can do or to be aware of to improve your interpersonal communication skills and emotional intelligence.
1. Learn to Observe:
Without a doubt observing and listening are absolutely crucial and fundamental. If you want to excel as a leader, sales professional, negotiator, human resource specialist, manager, therapist or even police interrogator!
2. Learn Active Listening:
As I discussed above active listen is crucial but what is active listening? Let’s examine it, active listening isn’t thinking about what you’re gonna say next. It’s listening to what is being said and letting the interlocutor know they’ve been heard and you’ve understood what it is that they said. In my communications workshop I teach you specific skills how to let the other people know you’re listening. You see when people know your listening they feel important and one of the things that people most crave is the feeling of significance. As a result of having made them feel special you’ll gain influence with them and be able to persuade them because they´ll have more respect for your opinion. After all only an intelligent person would listen to them!
3. Observe Subtle facial expressions during conversation:
Understanding the difference and significance of subtle and micro expressions requires training. How don’t worry we train professionals like you on the basics; identifying and understanding what these micro expressions are saying. I can tell you based on my own personal experience knowing this skill is magic and sometimes scary.
4. Observe Micro expressions during conversation:
Micro expressions are similar to subtle facial expressions but the one of the main differences is that micro expressions occur within a fraction of a second. When you identify these expressions it’s highly revealing but must be observant. For more information check Paul Ekman or our training courses.
5. Observe body movements:
During a conversation observe the body movements outside of that person’s norm is called “baseline”. What baseline means is we all have behaviours/gesture which do automatically it’s part of our make or personality. These are normal gestures for us but when someone deviates from this behaviour there might be a reason why and depending on the situation you might want to have a closer look.
6. Observe the Hands during conversations:
Ask your what are the hands doing?
7. Observe the Feet during conversations:
I first learned about feet from Joe Navarro these are a great tell.
8. Ignore pacifying behaviours or “ticks”:
From unusual gestures that express emotional or nervousness: See video what are pacifying behaviors and #5.
9. What are the eyes doing? How frequently are Eyes Blinking, are the pupils dilating or constricting, was there a twitch around the eyes? See Video
10. Are there Vocal fluctuations?
While your having a conversation with someone make sure to watch for vocal fluctuations. These voice fluctuations tell us a lot about how confident the person feels about what they’re saying.
11. What’s their Vocal pitch?
Another tell during a conversation is the voice pitch, does it change? Voice pitch can be interpreted as a question, confidence or even a lack of confidence.
12. Notice are there changes in the Vocal rhythms?
Notice the next time you´re having a conversation with someone listen and observe. Are they suddenly speaking quicker or maybe slower. Are they getting excited or maybe they´re feeling passionate about the topic they´re communicating. Perhaps they suddenly slowing down and start to hesitate before responding. All these are cues that something is going on within their emotional state.
Skills and Tips you can use to be an expert and more powerful communicator.
13. Use gestures and body language to emphasis a point.
Here are few great examples of people who who use gestures and their body language to emphasis a point. Tony Robbins, Les Brown, believe it or not, love´m or hate´m Donald Trump all are very well trained and coached to use their body language and gestures to influence others when presenting communicating.
14. Tell a story:
As children we all loved to hear stories.Those stories make use feel warm and fuzzy inside. 😊
So telling a story helps you win twofold. First, you build up an emotional connection with other people. Second, provide examples to further clarify, explain and/or support your idea.
So if you think of it, storytelling connect with both the unconscious mind and the logical conscious mind of the person or people you´re planning to influence at the same time. A pretty efficient communications tool, eh?
In religious text such as Torah, Jesus Christ and even Buddha used stories, metaphor and parables to simply their message.
15. Metaphors can simplify or explain complex ideas:
Metaphor pack a powerful punch, when it comes to be a communication ninja. According to an fantastic book I highly recommend you read “Winning Minds” by Simon Lancaster. We use metaphor every 16th word without even realizing it.
Here´s are few example, “they say a picture is worth a 1000 words”, “the housing bubble” referring to the stock markets, “the markets limped” the markets leaped” the markets stumbled” these metaphors are as if though the markets had human qualities limping, surging, leaping get the idea? These metaphors spawn images in your mind and pack enormous power in a tiny space. They effect the way people think and even how you feel.
Another interesting book about metaphors and their power that I recommend you check out is written by Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman called Deep Metaphors.
A quick side note I receive no commission for recommending these books. I just found them to be very helpful and insightful for me..
16. Simplify the BIG numbers:
Always try to reduce large hard to understand numbers so that the listener can identify with those figures or numbers. An example, approximately 900m airline tickets are sold a year by Amadeus (900 million is a large abstract number for many people). So how many tickets would that be a minute? It´s much easier to understand and identify with smaller number and the listener can relate to it.
17. Breakdown larger tasks into smaller chunks for your audience or team:
Tony Robbins calls this chunking and it´s a similar concept of simplify complex ideas into small easily understood bits of information.
18. When giving positive feedback use the pronoun “you”
Always make people feel genuinely appreciated and valued (insincerity will be unconsciously detected)
19. When you need to give negative feedback.
A communication skill I use is tell your own experiences or those of other people. Explain how that behaviour resulted in negative results, consequences or experiences. Normally people will get the picture unless dealing with a teenager.
Avoid the use of the word “you” when giving negative feedback. The use of the pronoun “you” will tend to put the other person on the defensive. If they go on the defensive they shut down, stop listening they´ll start focusing on excuses why it’s not their “fault” in order to justify their behaviour because they feel as though they’re being accused. This normal human behaviour so we need to know how to bypass or circumvent this reaction.
20. A top communication secret “Always make people feel genuinely valued and appreciated.
Think about it, you know when someone isn’t being straight with you. How do does an insincere compliment make you feel? It normally makes me think what do they want? (insincerity will almost always be unconsciously detected) And even if the person doesn’t consciously perceive the insincerity they will feel soemthing is “off” about the person giving the compliment. There are many communication skills to learn but know how to be find the good in others is a what makes you awesome at influence.
21. Focus on helping others:
For some bizarre reason things generally balance out in the long run. You do a good deed for one person you might now receive a good deed back from that person but something good will eventually come around the corner for you from another source. It’s weird but many people have this experience some call it karma others simply say “what goes around comes around ”.