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How to Really Know a Person

How to Really Know a Person

David Brooks talks to me while I’m doing my gym workout.

David, a bestselling author, reads his latest book, How To Know a Person – The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen, into my ear buds while I’m lifting weights.

He’s making lots of sense that can guide all of us as we communicate and navigate through our personal and professional pursuits.

In this short blog series I’ll share some of Brooks’ findings on qualities that make it hard to see others; and qualities that make it easy to see other people in all their fullness.

Today I’ll focus on the former – what Brooks defines as Diminishers.

Diminishers: How not to see a person

➜  Egotism – Being self-centered.

A Diminisher is all about, “Let me tell you my opinion.” Brooks comments that many people are unable to step outside of their own points of view which shows up as a lack of curiosity about other people.

➜  The Lesser-Minds Problem – Perceiving that you are more complicated, subtle and high-minded than others.

You have access to all of your thoughts/motivations and just a tiny access to other people’s minds shared by what they say out loud.

Brooks shares this example. When business school students answered why they were going into business the common response was, “I care about doing something worthwhile.” When asked why others were going into business, they replied, “For the money.” Lesser motivations, lesser minds!

➜  Instant Size-up – Making generalizations about groups and cultural trends.  

“The size-up is what you do when you first meet someone: You check out their look, and you immediately start making judgments about them…. Most of us have inborn proclivities that prevent us from perceiving others accurately.”

All in all, Diminishers make it hard to really see others. Next week I’ll share some of Brooks’ set of skills for being an Illuminator, the ability to see others in their fullness. It does not just happen.

© 2024 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved 

Use this 10-word sentence to elevate your business success

Use this 10-word sentence to elevate your business success

(1)People (2)do (3)business (4)with (5)people (6)they (7)know, (8)like (9)and (10)trust.

The 1st 5 words – “People do business with people”

While obvious, we forget this simple fact. As the CEO of your large company or your solo-preneur startup – you are NOT doing business with data, spreadsheets, PowerPoint decks, or your specific products/services. While your data creates credibility, you do business with people. And it’s the way you communicate with people that can add or detract from your success.

The 2nd 5 words – “they know, like and trust.”

KNOW”: To be known means to get out there and network in your professional universe. It’s not “net-sit”. It’s not “net-eat”. It’s “net-WORK”.

LIKE”: Here’s the litmus test: Do you pick professionals to work with that you could ride for 1500 miles in a Volkswagen Beetle? Yes – they’re in. No – they’re OUT. Of course, other factors come into play, but this litmus test comes first!

  • Be Likeable. Be the person that anyone would want to invite into a Volkswagen Beetle for a road trip.
  • Look for “likeability” when hiring others.

TRUST”: Gaining trust takes time… once you’re known and liked.

  • Be Genuine. Show up with authenticity. Make that other colleague/business associate/social acquaintance feel as if he/she is the only one in the room.
  • Have Integrity. People will trust you if you show expertise and good judgment and are accountable, responsible and dependable. What you say you’ll do…. you do! And you do “it” with grace.
  • Show Empathy. Try to understand the other person’s thoughts and feelings from his/her point of view. It’s more than just pressing “like” on a social post.

Incorporate this 10-word transformative sentence into your business strategy. Be people-focused. Get known, be likeable, gain trust. You’ll do business and create wonderful relationships.

PS: As I write this first blog of 2024 I realize what a win-win this transformative sentence has been for Speak For Yourself®. I’m grateful for all of the relationships I’ve made with clients across time. Thank you!

Top 5 ½ Best 2023 Communication Habits

Top 5 ½ Best 2023 Communication Habits

My handsome husband, Jim, and I wish you a happy new year and a fulfilling year ahead! 🥂 🎉 

Time to reveal our ’23 Communication Best-Of List – guaranteed to boost your communication skills even more in ’24.

#1 🎤 Communication Habit: Find the humor. 

Even during drama-filled times and situations – funny stuff happens. Keep notes on this “you cannot believe what just happened” truths. Use this material in your conversations/presentations.

#2 🎤 Communication Habit: Ask questions. 

You will be forced to listen more and you’ll learn more than if you’re doing all the talking.

#3 🎤 Communication Habit: Read more. 

Fiction or non-fiction – you’ll gain insights and become even more articulate. Even a trashy novel can provide examples of how to use dialog, plot development, and what makes for a good story.

#4 🎤 Communication Habit:  Reflect on your positive communication experiences in ’23. 

You do a great job of remembering in exquisite detail when you think you’ve failed at running that meeting, or facilitating the board discussion, or giving a speech to your shareholders. Think back on when you rocked on your platforms. Not only will this make you feel great – but it has a positive rollover effect on your future gigs.

#5 🎤 Communication Habit:  Write more. 

Practice writing short and clear emails, articles, reports and posts.

Confession: I began writing this blog series … kicking and screaming. Now I realize it’s been one of my best communication habits. Writing makes you a better communicator. I am forced to observe with purpose… all the time… constantly mining for good info and stories.

#5 ½  🎤 Communication Habit: Empower by praising others.

It’s a complicated world, made just a little bit easier if you can find something positive to say to the next person in line at the grocery store or to anyone in your personal and professional arenas. You’ll make their day. So give someone a specific and sincere compliment today.

YOU are the reason this blog exists. Thank you for your support and comments directly on this blog or in my email box. See you in 2024. 

5 Phrases You Should Never Say to Your Partner, According to Therapists

5 Phrases You Should Never Say to Your Partner, According to Therapists

Warning! This list will help you navigate personal and professional relationships.

Adapted from a New York Times article written by Jancee Dunn she shares what phrases therapists are sick of hearing and what you can say instead.

#1 😬 phrase: “You always…”

#2 😬 phrase: “You never…”

Both of these phrases are generalizations. These terms veer into exaggerations that escalate defensiveness and decrease opportunities to problem solve. Plus you get into the past rather than focusing on the present. Bad move! Whether you’re having a frustrating dialog with your partner or you’re giving feedback to your VP of sales stick to the current issues. Say, “I’m noticing you’re doing (or not) doing x and it seems to cause y.”

#3 😬 phrase: “Yes, but …”

#4 😬 phrase: “I never said that.”

These two aggravating phrases are deflections. In a response to your partner or your EVP you deflect and/or disown what has been said. Your “yes” implies agreement followed by your “but” which means you’re doing a u-turn! Your added caveat negates the “yes” in a nano second. Try saying, “I hear you saying x” and go from there.

Rather than saying “I never said that” which plummets your conversation into argument territory, say “Give me some background about this issue.”

#5 😬 phrase:  “You’re overreacting.”

Jancee Dunn nails it when she writes that this is a dismissal statement.

Dr. Alexandra Solomon, a psychologist at the Family Institute at Northwestern University and the author of “Love Every Day,” shares, “No one person is the actuary of emotional responses. One person does not get to determine which reactions are appropriate. This phrase bypasses accountability.” Try to acknowledge the other. Dr. Solomon’s suggestion, “Instead of judging say, “‘OK, I’m listening. Tell me more. Help me understand what you’re having a hard time with.’”

Again, a warning! During stressful times, which could be all the time, you may find yourself using these self-defeating phrases. I know I have.

Breathe. Smile. Print out this list.

Got other phrases that derail conversations? Share in comments.

Surprising adds that could net greater communication results

Surprising adds that could net greater communication results

“Your ideas worked!”, an excited dentist client shared with me yesterday in an impromptu call.

I replied, “Fantastic. Tell me what happened.”

He said, “Originally I was planning to approach the new dentist in the practice that refers to me and say, ‘I see you’re now sending this specialty work I do here to another doctor. Maybe I should move my dental tools out of that operatory I use here.”

“That’s code for”, he said to me, “We’re done here.”

I asked, “Exactly what did you do and say to create a better outcome?”

“First, I changed my attitude. Second, I complimented him. Third, I asked questions. By going that route I now have a solid working relationship with this new dentist. I’m thrilled!”

Unpacking these 3 communication negotiation steps to get what you want

Eradicate your assumptive state of mind. Long time blog readers and clients know my Least Favorite Communication Word. Drumroll: ASSUME. Do not assume the worst or the best. Do not assume your listener understands your point of view, gets your implied messaging, or even receives your emails (technology is wonderful until it isn’t).

Compliment with authenticity. Praise specifically and sincerely. Is this manipulative? Yes, ONLY if you’re lying! Stick with true observations and you will empower the recipient and begin your dialog on a positive note. Ex: “Dr. Muckhajar, you’ve realized your goals with this new office. Congrats on taking risks to make this happen.”

Ask questions. Think in advance of what you want to find out. Then listen actively. Don’t interrupt. You’ll gain more intel you might use to negotiate for what you want. You’ve read this before in this blog, “Information talks and wisdom listens”.

My client ended our chat saying, “Compliments and questions, what a powerful combo!”

Your strategy to get what you want: Assume nothing, praise often and ask questions.

The #1 best phrase people who’re good at small talk use

The #1 best phrase people who’re good at small talk use

You’re headed into this holiday season. You’ll probably encounter extended family and friends. Your conversations will start with small talk, defined as “polite and standard conversation about unimportant things.”

While small talk might seem trivial, it can net big benefits – around the holiday table and in your various business settings.

This initial type of conversation can help drive richer connections by finding common interests while also demonstrating empathy. At the very least you’ll gain more insights about the other person.

How do you do this?

According to Matt Abrahams, author of “Think Faster, Talk Smarter: How to Speak Successfully When You’re Put on the Spot“, use this power phrase: “Tell me more.”

“Support responses” vs “Shift responses”

Abrahams defines these two types of responses. “Tell me more” is a support response. You are supporting what the other person says. You are inviting the other person to keep expressing themselves. You are winning the gold medal of active listening.

“Shift responses” create the opposite outcome. You shift away from the other person and hook back to your own agenda. In essence, you hijack the conversation.

Example: “We really had a rough travel day! Got stuck in Chicago for 3 hours and missed the connection at DFW.”

Support response: “Tell me more.”

Shift response: “You think that was bad, one time we were going to JFK but landed in Philadelphia because JFK flooded!”

You might have a great story about your JFK/Philly calamity but you’ve shut down the other person.

Other “support responses”

In addition to the best response, “tell me more”, other support responses include asking more questions about the details of the event or the emotions around the event. “What happened next?”  or  “Did that make you go crazy?”  or “How did you handle that?”

When to use “shift responses”

You don’t want to sound like you’re doing a legal deposition either! There does come a time to share your own anecdotes and experiences.  Give and take conversations create more meaningful encounters.

Happy Thanksgiving!

So, as you head into the holiday season remember that information talks and wisdom listens. Use more “support responses”.

I am grateful for your support of this blog!

source: CNBC: https://apple.news/Ayem5YVoMQE2jk2m-SMYvjQ

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