Personal Development

Becoming a Better Communicator, One Observation at a Time

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Comments (6)
  1. This is so awesome to read, Mike. I remember working together and walking to grab lunch at various local delis, salad shops, and food trucks, and I was always impressed at how well you seemed to *know* the people who worked the counters. I had huge respect for both your skills and your patience for building conversational relationships with just about anyone. I had no idea you were coming from such a history of discomfort!

    I, too, struggled through a lot of the same things you’ve mentioned, and have come to a lot of your same conclusions — especially eye contact and speaking more slowly (which is so hard for me!). A few other mantras that have been particularly helpful for me:

    – Stand or sit up straight
    – Be STILL
    – Ask unique, relevant questions about the person
    – Find moments to gently *tease* the person as much as the social situation permits. (Funny insults, fake outrage, etc. It weirdly builds rapport faster than outright compliments.)

    Thanks again for writing this, and for all the great conversation!

  2. Andrew, thanks for the kind words and the extra tips—these are also great!

  3. Those are incredibly interesting observations! I think so many of us do the same things– rambling without realizing that that is actually hard to follow/topic shifts/etc– those are SO common. I do them myself. Such a great read and reminders. I honestly never thought about how rambling and not pausing doesn’t allow for people to be active participants in the conversation. That sounds dense, but I had never crossed my mind. Thanks for the perspective shift!

  4. Diane says:

    Found this post so inspiring. As a mom with a teenage son with Aspergers, I hope to be able to help him develop his social and communication skills. I know that like you, he will overcome them just by being a bit more observing of his actions over time. Thanks so much for this article!

  5. Thanks for sharing! I liked how you identified your problem, figured out a solution and went out and conquered it. Awesome. I felt like I was socially awkward growing up too. Once I got into my career as a pharmacist – there were very many opportunities to communicate with all sorts of people – patients, co-workers, doctors and nurses. You are right. Practice. 14 years into my career, I feel confident in both my written and verbal communications.

  6. Tanya says:

    Wow! This is very relatable to me, I wish I would have had access to this information years ago! I had to learn all of this on my own especially the eye contact, which I still have troubles with. My eyes seem to want to focus on all different things and I have to keep reminding myself to go back to the eyes. Thanks for sharing! I would definitely recommend ?

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