Category Archives: People Skills Training

The Listening Pause

One of the simplest ways to improve the quality of your conversation skills and to create much better rapport with people is to make a point of using the listening pause. What`s that?

Very often when we make conversation we are paying attention to who is speaking while holding in mind what we want to say next when its our turn to talk. Then, we dive in when the other person pauses for breath! This is especially true when we are in a hurry or when we need to cover a lot of ground in just a few minutes.

However this jumping into the conversation even if its normal behaviour disrespects whoever we are talking to. By our actions we are demonstrating that we are listening only long enough to get an opportunity to speak. This can create a tension in the conversation with each person competing for air time. And that`s why the listening pause is so important…

The listening pause is easy to apply. When you are listening to someone who is talking to you. Give 100% attention to what is being said. And, when this person stops talking wait 3 seconds before speaking up. Do this and you will often find the other person is not finished talking. He will often continue what he was talking about. Again, pause for 3 seconds before saying anything and only when the other person does not continue talking do you want to speak up.

When you use the listening pause you will see several immediate positive changes in your interactions with people. Firstly, they will know you are actually listening to what is being said and because of that they will feel appreciated and respected. Secondly, people will warm to you because so many people are not listened to. Thirdly, when you start speaking the other person is very likely to reciprocate and listen to you as attentively as you did for him.

All of these positive changes facilitate a great conversation based on mutual respect and attention. Great friendships and happy relationships can quickly develop in such an environment.

All you need to do now is to remember to pause for 3 seconds before you speak up when it is your turn to speak in a conversation. I simply count out 3 seconds in my head while looking at the other person and waiting in case he starts to speak some more. Start right away and notice how delighted it makes your friends and family members when you care enough to listen to what they want to say to you.

10 Ways To Be More Confident When Meeting New People

Meeting new people isn’t always that easy. You don’t know
what they will think of you and for most of us, that is a
worry. It’s important that people like us. For that reason
as much as anything else, we don’t always know what to say
when we meet new people.

It’s therefore understandable that you might lack confidence
when meeting new people.

Mainly, we lack confidence when meeting new people because
we want to impress them. Nobody likes to be rejected, and it
is the fear of rejection, even from a complete stranger,
which makes us nervous when meeting new people.

Once you understand what it is that is making you nervous
about meeting new people, you can overcome that nervousness.

Here are 10 tips which will help you to feel more confident
when meeting new people:

1. Take someone with you

In most situations, you don’t have to go alone when you have
to meet new people. You will probably feel much better about
meeting them if you have a friendly face beside you, because
you already know that your friend knows and likes you for
who you are, so it softens the potential blow of being
rejected by these new people.

With a friend by your side, it doesn’t matter what these new
people are like; you will still have at least some support.

2. Remember these new people you are meeting are only human!

Everyone has their faults. That includes the new people you
are meeting. Stop worrying that they are perfect people and
a standard up to which you should hold yourself. You don’t
necessarily have to live up to their standards and ideals at
all.

3. Don’t assume you are being judged

Why would you be? If you have met for some common interest
or cause, it is far more likely that these new people will
be concentrating more on that than on judging you,
particularly in a negative way. Just try to be yourself and
trust that this is good enough, because it really is!

4. Try to relax

Of course, relaxing is easier said than done when you are
feeling nervous about meeting new people. However, if you
aren’t relaxed, your brain will focus more on your panic
than on what you want to say.

Your brain will start to shut down rather than focus on what
you want so say, so you will actually create a worse
impression of yourself than if you were able to relax a bit,
so it does pay in meeting new people to try to calm yourself
down a little.

5. Prepare some things you want to say

Everyone has experienced the situation mentioned in the
previous point, where you become so nervous you are
tongue-tied and literally unable to speak, or at least
unable to think of anything to say. Prepare for this.

There are two kinds of scenarios you can prepare for here.

The first one is the easiest, where you know in advance that
you are going to be meeting new people for a specific
purpose. That may be a business meeting, arranging for some
work to be done on your house etc.

In this kind of scenario, you can quite easily write down
and rehearse the information you want to give them and the
things you want to ask.

Let’s think now about the types of meetings with new people
where there isn’t a specific purpose. These are usually
social gatherings.

You can prepare a list for these too, only this time it will
be a more generic list of light inoffensive topics to talk
about and also some questions to open a conversation with
and get people talking.

6. Keep that list with you

Remember that list of topics and questions you made? You
can take it with you for the meeting. In fact, if you are
going to a business meeting or setting up someone to do some
work for you they will expect you to make notes and bring
them with you as you talk.

That should take some pressure off you and ease your nerves.
You won’t have to worry about forgetting what you want to
say. You can always check your notes.

If you are in a social situation, you probably won’t want to
whip out your written list from your pocket to consult it,
but you won’t need to. For social situations, you will need
to prepare some generic topics and questions that will suit
a variety of situations.

7. Treat yourself to a new outfit

You will approach meeting any new people a lot more
confidently if you are happy with the way you look. It’s
surprising how good a new outfit will make you feel,
especially if it is one picked especially for the occasion
so it is really appropriate for it.

You don’t have to spend a million dollars just to feel a
million dollars. However, wearing clothes you know are in
good condition and which suit you and are appropriate to the
occasion, should really help to boost your confidence when
meeting new people.

8. Be true to yourself

Being yourself can be a little easier said than done,
admittedly, but it is important. If you are nervous about
meeting new people, often you will over-compensate by trying
to impress them. That can cause far more problems than it
solves.

In meeting new people, you should always stick to your own
moral code and the things you believe in. If people don’t
like you for who you really are then they aren’t good
friends for you and you don’t need them.

Trying to be someone that you’re not won’t feel so good in
the morning when you have done things you don’t want to do,
or when people find out you were only really faking it.

Faking never gets you anything but heartache and trouble,
but if you are acting in a genuine, natural way, and people
are getting on well with you, this will really boost your
confidence.

Even if people like a fake representation of you, it won’t
boost your confidence as you will never know if they like
the real you. There just is no sense in faking it.

9. Accept that some people won’t like you

You shouldn’t be scared of the fact that not everyone will
like you. You don’t like every other person in the world, do
you? There will no doubt be people whose morals and opinions
you disagree with. That doesn’t necessarily make them bad
people; they are just not your type of people.

You are free to dislike some people and that does them no
damage whatsoever. The same is true of people disliking you.
It doesn’t do you any harm, and you may well not like the
ways in which you would have to change yourself to get their
approval. It’s not worth it.

Liking yourself is far more important than having other
people like you, but the great thing is that if you like
yourself, you are more likely to have people like you.

10. Get out there and practice

Like most things, meeting new people gets easier with
practice. You should start the easy way, saying hello to the
person at the checkout, making small talk with the newspaper
boy, etc. You can try out these techniques on people where
it really doesn’t matter if you make a lasting positive
impression upon them.

This way you can sharpen your skills so that you are better
able to try them out when it really matters.

So there you have it, 10 ways to be more confident when
meeting new people. You can start in small ways, and really
build on that confident feeling so that you never worry
about meeting new people and talking to them again.

What To Say When You Meet New People: The 11 Secrets To Success

In an average day, you are going to meet a great many new people. Some of them might seem of no value to your life – a waitress, a delivery man, and so forth. Yet, never underestimate the value of every individual.

Remember, the art of networking can lead to you achieving greatness. With that in mind, let’s look at what you should say and talk about when you meet someone for the first time.

1. Speak without speaking. Your physical appearance and demeanor will say more to people about who you are and what you think of them than any initial greeting. So, keep your body clean, your appearance neat, and dress nicely.

2. A good first line. Don’t start off with something like: “Hey, whats up?” Unless you’re talking to a bunch of excited teenagers at a Britney Spears concert; that is not how you address someone. A proper phrase along the lines of: “How do you do?” or “It’s a pleasure to meet you” is appropriate.

3. Eyes and hand. You want to connect with someone at once. So, look them straight in the eye, and offer them your hand. A firm hand shake that isn’t brief, and yet isn’t too long either; and don’t crush their hand. That’s something a professional wrestler does to intimidate an opponent; not what you do when you want to make a good first impression.

4. Once the initial meeting is over, follow up by asking for their name, and make a point of remembering it. Nothing is better at pleasing someone than a person they just met remembering their name.

5. Body language. You want people to feel comfortable when they are talking to you. So, stand up straight, maintain good eye contact – without being domineering, and pay close attention to what they say.

6. Be courteous and speak in a clear, polite tone. If you are on a job interview, let the interviewer ask the first question. After all, you’re after a job from them; time is money, and they’re busy. So, let them control the situation. Now, at some point, they’re going to ask you if you have any questions. That leads to the next point.

7. Be ready to participate in the conversation. Again, if you’re on a job interview, check out the company, and have some questions ready to ask. If you’re in a social setting or on a date, be ready to ask the other person questions about them and their life; or be able to talk about yourself and what you like.

8. Pay attention to what’s going on. If your eyes glaze over and you’re not engaged in what’s going on, people will not want to have anything to do with you. So, concentrate on what they’re talking about.

9. Select the right things to say. This is a function of the type of conversation you’re involved in: interview, date, a dinner party, and so forth. After the initial meeting, you want to either talk about something interesting – a story you know, a movie you’ve seen etc. or ask the other person some questions.

10. Keep the conversation balanced. On the one hand, you do not want the other person to have to do all the talking; on the other hand, it’s impolite for you do monopolize the conversation. So, allow the other person (people) to talk, and then you “chime in” with a contribution.

11. Finally, remember the Golden Rule; treat people as you want them to treat you. And remember, no one is “beneath” you. Treating people decently is a true sign of having good manners.

It’s said that first impressions are lasting impressions. So stay focused when meeting new people, and speak clearly. By staying neat, clean, and showing proper respect to others, you will make an excellent impression on them. Follow that up by being engaging in conversation, and you’ll win new friends and influence people.