Here is one of my templates that has enabled people to improve their conversation skills in a way that helped to build positive relationships.
When I train workshop participants in conversation skills, I stress the following:
A simple ‘hello’ may end a ‘journey of discovery’. There is often so much more you could say when you greet others. By feeding them relevant information you are providing the gift of information that they can ‘hook onto’ in order to build a conversation.
- By saying your name clearly you are helping others to remember you.
- The ‘from’ could inform others about your business or geographic locality.
- Please note the difference between, ‘I’m here today because…’ and ‘I’m pleased to be here because….’ The former could engender negative connotations - ‘I’m here because my boss insisted’ or ‘I’m come to be coached because my supervisor said I needed it’. The latter encourages positive input – ‘I’m pleased to be here because I want to shift, change the way I operate’. Depending on the circumstances, the word ‘pleased’ could change the essence of your message.’
The above format allows the listener to build a quick starting point for exploring the relationship further.
I invite you to ask yourself how you could improve your ability to give brief, snappy introductions. A simple practice that some of my trainees and coachees engage in as follows:
Each morning, using the above template, think of one situation in which you could use this greeting template. Craft the most appropriate wording for that specific encounter. Stand in front of a mirror. Check your posture. Are you projecting an image of confidence? Breathe properly. Practice the greeting, projecting your voice. How does that sound? Practice again.
Do this each morning for two weeks, working on a different scenario every day. Choose the appropriate words you’d use in that specific situation. Even try some ‘way out’ examples. One that I enjoy is imagining that you are the new rugby coach. (This is for you, girls!). Using the template above, introduce yourself to your team. For the guys, imagine that you are Miss South Africa. You are walking into a room and need to introduce yourself to sponsors (who do not know you). What words would you use?
Have fun practising a wide range of different situations. It will help you to improve your ability to build relationships in ‘everyday’ situations.
For more information on training in communication skills, or on ‘integral coaching’ please contact me - Phone: +27 33 3425432, Mobile: + 27 82 4993311, email@example.com.
Thanks for the excellent post Brenda. I look forward to using the template.