It always amazes me when I come across someone who has difficulty communicating in our industry. What I mean is those people who find it difficult communicating their ideas, have very boring voices or who insist on turning every piece of communication into a long drawn out story. The Recruitment industry is ABOUT communicating. We communicate with clients, candidates and colleagues in order to put the right person into the right opportunity and make a living yet so few of us have had any kind of training in the art of communication.
Let’s look at the essentials of successful communication:
1. Establishing rapport
The basis of rapport is that when people are like eachother, they like eachother. You will communicate best with people when you communicate to them in a way in which they feel comfortable. In fact, when true rapport is established, you will be communicating with them at an unconscious level. Have you ever had the experience of meeting someone new and feeling that you have known them a long time? If you have, then you have established rapport with the other person.
Communication is 7% words; 38% tonality and 55% physiology. Rapport is established by matching and mirroring and is essential to building trust in any relationship. To build rapport successfully, you must be consciously aware of what the other person is doing and saying and also what they arent saying.
Here are the steps to successfully build rapport:
a. Mirror an individual’s physiology. That is copy their gestures, eye contact and posture
b. Match their voice, tone tempo, quality and volume. Match key words.
c. Match their breathing
d. Match the size of the pieces of information (chunking). For example big picture vs. detail
e. Match their common experiences
2. Succinct, specific and generous communication
I learned this technique when I trained to be a coach with Results coaching systems. We all know people who are very direct communicators and also those whom take forever to deliver their message. Because in our line of business, our product is people, we need to ensure that all of our communication is understood, whether written or verbal.
● Being Succinct When we pad our sentences with extra words, we dilute the effectiveness of the message. The person we are communicating with can lose the message and our communication can break down. It be succinct, you need to think carefully before you deliver your message and make every word count. If someone starts to tell you an entire story, stop them and ask them to tell you the key points.
● Being Specific As well as being succinct, you also need to be specific so that the person you are communicating with understands the message. It is very important to give all the relevant information to back up the point you are making.
● Being Generous Being generous in communication is about finding common ground with the person you are communicating with. Being generous is a way of showing you care.
3. Useful and interesting conversations
Often, when I am coaching “at the desk” I ask the consultant whether the conversation they just had with that client or candidate was useful or interesting. Useful conversations gain outcomes, whereas interesting conversations don’t. Practice asking yourself “what was the outcome of that conversation”. If no outcome was gained then I would argue that the conversation wasn’t useful. Save interesting conversations until more appropriate times, like the pub or coffee shop. Practice having useful conversations at your desk.
4. Be a great listener
Being a great listener is a skill that requires constant practice and a great deal of focus and attention. If you don’t actively listen you will not be able to build rapport or have useful conversations.
Main keys to being a great listener include:
a. Listening generously
b. Listen for meaning
c. Listen at all levels
iii. Non-verbal signals
d. Listen without judgment
i. Know your “hot spots”.
Building your communication skills is an ongoing process and I have recently developed an audio program on “how to communicate effectively” to assist you in becoming more aware of your communication. For more information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.