By Karen Cortell Reisman
Q. What is the stealth bomb of communicating?
A: Not meeting the needs of your listener. You can be completely credible, know your subject, and command everyone with your presence; BUT, if you do not target your message to meet your listener's specific situation, you'll be walking out of the door empty handed. If the ship misses the harbor, it's rarely the harbor's fault.
Q. What's the most important word to your listener?
A: Their name - spelled and pronounced correctly. Before you say, "I'm horrible at remembering names" here are some easy to implement ways to inbred names into your brain.
Q. How can you make yourself the most approachable?
A: Smile. Emotions are contagious. Think about those people in your world that look permanently miserable. It's as if they're constipated for life. These are not the people you want to sit next to at the next corporate picnic. I'm not suggesting that you grin like the village idiot. But, I am asking you to put an approachable and pleasant look on your face. Other positive people will want to connect with you.
Q. How do you maintain great eye contact?
A: Confident people look at people. Try to look at everyone for an entire thought or phrase. No need to count to four. It's already hard enough to remember what you want to say next.And don't play favorites. Sometimes the final decision-maker is the passive, silent one.
Q. What's the most valuable nonverbal indicator?
A: Touch - in the form of a firm handshake. Men to men, women to women, men to women, and women to men... please begin and end your conversation with a strong handshake. Nothing is worse than half a shake - your fingers meekly grab their fingers. The web on your hand, that area between your forefinger and thumb should touch your recipient's web. On the other hand, use common sense. No karate chops necessary at any time! And lighten your grasp if the other person has arthritis or is in failing health.
Use people's names, give a firm handshake, meet their needs, have good eye contact, and smile.