Successful business is built on solid, positive relationships with everyone you contact. This means not only your family and friends, but also your co-workers, your boss, the neighbors and the person who just stops you on the street to ask for the time.
Have you ever wondered why relationships with other people are so difficult at times? Every time we come into contact with another person we are really dealing with the three different personalities:
- Who they think they are.
- Who they really are.
- Who they become by dealing with us.
We all have masks we wear in different situations and we assume the identity of the mask. We can call this identity our "perceived truth", it is who we think we are, but deep down inside us is who we really are. Sometimes it is so well buried we don't even know who the person really is.
We become a changed identity because of our dealings with someone else. This change can be very slight or very large depending on the contact. Also you can be changed from a positive person into a negative person or negative person into a positive person by a positive or negative contact.
The Four Ways of Judgment
There are four ways in which we judge and are judged by other people. These four ways also can produce positive or negative results. Because we are reading people every time we are in contact with them, we assume that we can tell all about a person just by looking at and listening to them. We are not always correct in our assumptions and most of the times feel offended if someone judges us incorrectly. Yet these four values are used by everybody, even though we know they are not just or fair.
The four ways are:
- How we (or they) look
- What we (or they) say
- How we (or they) say it
- How we (or they) treat people
How we (or they) look. In the world of business we make certain assumptions of who a person is by the way they are dressed and by the way they carry themselves. A person who is dressed for success and walks with an air of confidence is automatically believed to be successful and someone we can trust for their abilities. Likewise we assume someone not dressed well or carries an air of nervousness is someone we cannot trust.
What we (or they) say. Your vocabulary tells other people how to assume your education level and your class level. People with higher education or a higher class upbringing usually have a better or richer vocabulary. One way to increase your vocabulary is to use a list of new words until you have installed them in your mind and can use them easily.
How we (or they) say it. Your voice inflection says different things for the same words. People make the assumption of what you are saying based on the inflection in your voice. If you are going to really advance your career you will have to do something probably 95% of all people never do. That is to deliberately train yourself on how to use your voice more effectively. In order to train your voice use a cassette recorder and practice, practice, practice.
How we (or they) treat people. By the use of human relation concepts we can influence those around us. We make certain assumptions about people by watching how they treat those around them. The following is a list of five basic human relation concepts we can use to increase the influence we have with people and help others feel good about themselves.
Human Relations Concepts List
- Use the "Golden Rule"
- Make the other person feel important
- Be a good listener
- Motivate people in terms of their interests, benefits and satisfaction
A Closer Look at the Human Relation Concepts
Use the Golden Rule
Probably the most often talked about and least used human relation concept is the "Golden Rule". "Do onto others as you would have them do onto you." In other words treat everyone as a special person. There are approximately 5 billion people on this earth and no two are alike. Everyone is unique and each has an interesting story to tell if you are willing to listen.
A very simple human relation concept that will help you in almost any situation is a smile. Smiling is easy to do and does not cost you anything to give away. Starting today, challenge yourself to smile and say "hello" first to each person you meet. As you walk down the street, smile at everyone and watch how many people smile back at you. You will feel good about yourself and will give other people an opportunity to share the feeling.
When you talk on the phone, smile; it changes the muscles in the face and throat, people will hear the smile coming through the phone. Put a small mirror behind your phone with a label on it saying, "Would I want to talk to someone who looks like this?" When your answer is "yes", you can answer the call or make your call.
Make the other person feel important
Emerson said, "Every man I meet is in some way my superior; and in that I can learn of him." William James, the father of modern American psychology, stated, "The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated." If we know each person can indeed teach us something and they also have a need to be appreciated, we can certainly make them feel important by showing them we feel this way. To help you remember this, see a sign hanging around everyone neck saying, "Make me feel important!"
Most people see other people for their weaknesses instead of their strengths. Good human relations demand we look at others' strengths and then let them know we see those qualities. Sometimes we are the only ones who see these qualities in them. They may be so use to hearing that they are too slow, too old, too young, too dumb, only a male, only a female, etc. that they have indeed become these things. When we let others know we expect them to live and work up to their potentials, they will do everything in their power to do so.
Be a Good Listener
Listening skills will help you improve your conversations and your relationships. Most people hear what the other person is saying without really listening. To uncover what people want, spend less time talking and more time listening. The best actors and the most effective salespeople traditionally have not been great talkers; they have been good listeners.
"When you listen your way in, you don't have to talk your way out."
Listening is really an indication of interest in the person. It takes real interest to listen effectively despite distractions such as time pressure, noise, and language barriers. Surprisingly, one of the most important skills for good listening is asking questions. Asking questions shows your interest in the person and forces you to listen carefully because you cannot ask good questions if you are not listening. Asking questions also keeps you from talking too much and helps you confirm what the person has said. You can actually "feel" when you are doing a good job of listening.
Motivate people in terms of their interests, benefits and satisfaction
The road to a person's heart is to talk to them about the things they treasure the most. Probably the best way to remember this is the W I2 F M Formula: "What's in it for me?"
From now on see the letters W I2 F M branded on the other person's forehead. These letters can also stand for the call letters of the world's largest radio station, because everyone is always listening to it. Always think of these letters and what they stand for before you begin talking. You will be reaching the other person's emotional drives and these are the drives that motivate all people.
By following the concepts you will be building successful business relationships that will raise your career to the next level.