Six lessons in Social Communication

Not long ago, I had a conversation with some friends regarding how important communication is and will always be.  From sharing a good cup of coffee and enjoying a pleasant chat all the way to technological breakthroughs; the digital era allows people to be connected to the world, whether they want to or not.

You just can’t escape from it!  According to GlobalWebIndex, one third of our Internet time (close to two hours) is dedicated to the use of Social Media, networking and connecting, sending and receiving messages and work related emails while keeping an open window for more personal and entertaining content about the wonders of the digital universe.

These talks lead me to ponder upon the way we approach each other, to create a connecting bridge with your listener is more than key. It is the cornerstone of any successful interaction, and this connection will manifest itself as my communicational skills permit.

But careful, this is not a plug and play scheme. You must practice hard to achieve this while answering the following question: Do we have to go over the way in which we communicate to obtain what we want through the use of our ideas?

To solve this mind-puzzle, I gathered six lessons that will solve some of the loose issues we face when we enter a conversation with coworkers, business partners, family gatherings or just Friday happy hour drinking buddies.

  1. Scout your possible approaches to this person. Find out what makes them tick, which passions and needs drive this individual; ask yourself what things could they like or what turns them off. The end result will be a better grip on how to speak since you already have a better idea of how this person thinks.
  2. Be the message. Have you realized you are part of the message itself? Yes, so you must look after your attitude, as it can have a blunt impact on others, even before you speak. What you say and what you keep to yourself is all part of the message!
  3. Take the initiative and go connect! Why wait for the “perfect time”? What if it never comes? By taking this first ice-breaking step, people will remember you, so step up to the plate and hit a homer!
  4. When you make the first move and start the conversation, those around you will develop interest in you and will wonder if you could help them at a certain moment. Your words will become a beacon to these doubts about you, thus making it easier for them to connect with you and your ideas.
  5. Kiss your ego goodbye and show you also make mistakes. The reality is that you need to reach out to people, so leaving differences aside will become a major advantage for you. If your ego gets in the way it will spoil all you’ve been so patiently building; besides people love to hear life stories told by others and the lessons within them, so by sharing your flops and how you overcame them, helps you connect with others in a successful way.
  6. Before taking sides or appealing to old clichés, turn into a great sharp-eyed onlooker and develop the Superpower to thoroughly scan the scenery where you’re interacting so your opinions are solid rock statements when heard by others.

Storytelling is not only valid for Marketing

How many marketing campaigns have we seen where storytelling takes central place? A lot!  And this is so because storytelling has that empathy-generating touch that people relate to, as evidenced by Scotch Brand Johnny Walker on its famous “The Man who walked around the World”.

Why was this ad so successful? The formula is simple: the easier you present the information, the broader the group getting it. Around 70% of people grasp this content as opposed to a small group of individuals (between 5% and 10%) that merely holds to it. So, is it useful to tell stories? You bet! As long as they have what it takes to connect while conveying your point of view, they work.

The benefits of storytelling are like a goldmine since you will earn an aura of trust and people will remember you easily. We all love to hear a good story as those create connections that rest upon the emotions involved in them. And remember this quote from William Butler Yeats:

“Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people”.