The Blog of Jake Kelfer
Get 5 FREE chapters of my book Elevate Your Network and start building extraordinary relationships in your life, career and business!
Every day we communicate with people. Sometimes it's in person while other times it's digital. No matter how you communicate with someone, it's always important to keep in mind that every day communication over time creates relationships and experiences.
There are so many obvious ways to improve communication and become a good connector, but if you want to be great, here are 4 elite tips to for effective communication that will increase your quality of relationships and improve your ability to connect with people on a personal level.
1. Be an Active Listener
Being an active listener is one of the most underrated skills in the communication game. Let me explain. Most people think listening is about hearing what people say, but hearing what someone says is just part of the story. Being an active listener is about understanding and processing what someone says so that your response can be most effective.
My mom always says, “VALIDATE, VALIDATE, VALIDATE!” and I love this because when you validate what someone is saying, you are showing that you did more than just hear them, you understood them.
You can do this by your response, but you can also do this by just nodding your head and making eye contact at the right time. People want to feel that you are IN the conversation rather than just thinking about what you are going to say next.
Part of our goal as communicators is to create a relationship and the best way to do that is by showing someone that you truly care.
2. Read Body Language
This is one of my favorite tips because it is such a subtle observation, but it can completely change the dynamic of your conversation with someone.
Every person has various tells and even when someone is talking and saying one thing, their body language always tells the truth. In my research and studying of FBI negotiator and bestselling author Joe Navarro’s book, I’ve learned that your body always tells the truth.
One of my favorite things to notice is a slight shoulder raise or eyebrow raise which typically signals a positive emotion. Gravity defying motions tend to showcase positivity and happiness with the current situation.
When I notice a form of gravity defying behavior, I can remember what triggered it and revisit it which will likely lead to a positive experience which will lead to a stronger relationship.
3. Ask Insightful Questions
The answers you seek are not nearly as powerful as the questions you ask. The questions you ask can provide you with answers you didn’t even know existed.
I like to relate it to the idea of you don’t know what you don’t know. If I seek an answer that I know, I might create a bias to the response whereas if I ask the right question, I might receive an unexpected answer.
When we ask people insightful questions, not only are we going to get great information in return, but we are showing someone that we care to hear and learn from them which increases the bond between you and them.
4. Follow Up on Key Touch Point
In most conversations, there is always something discussed that can be followed up on. Sometimes it’s obvious like when you have a deliverable to send someone. Other times it’s not as obvious, but just as important. This can be when you are talking with someone and they mention a big event coming up in their life. While it isn’t something you have to connect with them about, this is a key touch point to follow up about.
It shows that you are being an active listener by validating your understanding of the significance of what they are saying and it shows that you value the relationship by taking the time to not only remember what they said, but act on it in the form of a genuine follow up.
No one will ever get upset with you if you follow up on key discussion points. People will always get upset if you say you are going to follow up and never do.
I am on a mission to inspire people to achieve their own definition of success and reach the highest level of personal happiness.