I attended a networking session for introverts once. And the majority of them there were happy and contented to lay claim to the fact that they are introverts. They wanted to embrace the notion that they are introverts. Yet, at the end of the day, all of them wished that they were as dynamic as extroverts at one point or another.
When I chatted with most of them, I discovered that the one issue they were probably trying to deal with, was not their introversion. I thought that it was their lack of conversational skills that proved to be their stumbling block. They were unable to sustain an interesting conversation.
And we wanna pin this lack of conversational skills to introversion?
It is in my personal opinion that we do not laud introversion as a hidden crutch, we can lean on when the circumstances need.
A : “Why are you not socializing?”
B : “Oh, I am an introvert.”
When instead it should be answered as,
“I have no clue at all as to what to ask you…”
The majority of those that I’ve met over the years, and who lay claim to being introverts, are actually just ordinary people not wanting to hold conversations. It gets even yucky, when introverts try to “humblebrag” by responding to praises and the likes…
“Oh, it surprises me too that people like me, considering the fact that I am an introvert.”
Let’s not glorify introversion excessively. You and I know that all it takes, is just a bit of effort when it comes to interactions and communications.
We all have this preconceived notion that when it comes to persuasion and influence, the “my idea or yours” perspective is prevalent. We see persuasion and influence as merely confrontational dynamics. Where two individuals or groups square off, face to face and eye to eye.
It might have been that way for quite a while in time.
But thinking along those frames do not get you any headway. What happens when both of you are not able to truly persuade each other off? Who will be at the losing expense of such communication dynamics? Is that not the case in most political dynamics? In the end, the citizens lose.
“The Flexibility Factor”
I forgot the number of times I “lost out” in arguments and discussions, when I chose to adopt rigidity. When I wanted to have only my point of view to be heard as the absolute truth.
Have you ever felt that way? When you are so darn sure that at the end of that encounter, it will either be you or the other party who will be bloodied and battered.
Well, hear me out on this. It no longer has to be that way of you choose to adopt a very basic mindset.
The idea is to be flexible.
Bruce Lee said it perfectly. The key to an excellent persuasion dynamic is our ability to adopt fluidly to the demands that situation demands.
There is no point in stating your ground when there clearly is no progression. Sometimes, the ability to take a step back, reroute, and then step forward 3 times faster is a much better option. If you understand the concept that it is okay to lose a persuasion battle to win the war of acceptance, you will definitely approach your discussions differently.
Flexibility does not mean that you will compromise or shortchange the original ideas or beliefs that you hold. It just means, shaping the context of the persuasion process to be more conducive for you at a more crucial juncture.
The importance of persuasive speaking or the ability to influence should not be underestimated. Most people come up to me and lament about their inability to speak in public. While it is true that public speaking is a useful skill to learn and apply, it is not something that you need always. I mean, how many of us are probably doing speeches to more than five people at any one time.
However, the interactions we have on a daily basis, require us to be able to share and exchange view points. What happens then, if we are unable to effectively communicate those views?
You’ve probably heard tales of friends who fell off relationships, careers or friendships. Often than not, it probably was due to some forms of disengagement or the non existence of connection. You heard wives saying, “My husband no longer communicates…understands or listens.” Employees saying, “My boss is not listening to my point of view…my supervisor is not asking for my feedback.”
All these almost common forms of disengagement can be narrowed to one specific reason. Most people do not know how to make themselves heard.
Connection and engagement require you to be dynamic in your communication.In an age of social media being the default modes of being heard, it is so vital for you to understand that engagement is the keyword. People are no longer tuning in to you ,as if they are listening in a news broadcast over the radio. Neither are they just zombified into staring at colored, moving ads on the televisions.
These days, people want to experience a conversation, an opinions exchange dynamics or an information dissemination session. That’s why I always say, the touch screens revolutionized a whole new way of communication.
So how can you get started on being a more engaging communicator?
Learn The Seven Golden Words
Most people are shy to say this words. They find it beneath them, to just utter these words sometimes. Yet psychologically, these seven words will imprint onto your listeners’ minds, a need for an alliance to be formed. People respond to the seven words on the subconscious level, on a positive note always. And it gears you up to be listened in to more favorably. These seven golden words are,
“Can you please do me a favor?”
You will be surprised that most people. Well, most nice people at least, find it appealing to be thought off as being in a position where they can offer something. If you are to ask a favor, the minimum response they will have to offer, is consider. Considerations will require you to be engaged. They will have to listen and tune in to your overall message.
But do we even receive that? Heck, you are considered lucky enough, if you received 8 in a month.
The point is, people want to be touched. Someway, somehow. That is why, the touch screens seem to be a connector when it comes to online communication engagements. You have to press the “like” button. You have to type out your comments. You have to scroll through your feeds. That “touch” is liberating.
This psychological need applies in a real world conversation too. Do you bother to shake someone’s hands before you chat? Do you put your hands around your buddies as you talk about something? Do you hug your spouse after a great discussion about your kids?
I make it a point to touch anyone I converse with in a non intimate, non aggressive manner. A gentle touch on the elbow or arm always does it for me. The contact may be subtle, but the brain picks it up differently.
So the next time you guys agree on anything, do a fist bump or hug passionately!