Communication is tool that each and every one of us is required to utilize on a daily basis. Without having the power to voice your opinion, it can be challenging to connect with people on a personal level. We not only need to connect with people on a personal plateau, but a majority of us are also responsible for establishing common ground in a professional manner.
That is why it is crucial to create a degree of confidence with your communication skills. Like anything else in life, your communication skills can be honed and you can become proficient with perpetual use and practice.
It is also applicable and arguably a requirement for business interactions. Without communicating in a professional manner, businesses can fail to connect with prospective customers. You not only need to create an environment of trust and dependability, but you also need to assure the potential client that you will have their back throughout your relationship.
Moreover as a public relations and mass communications graduate, I feel as though I fully contemplate the importance of credibility, honesty and transparency, which can be facilitated and help establish relationships with the individuals you interact with.
Listed below are a few recommendations for creating a quality first impression that will hopefully enable sustained interaction in whatever capacity.
1. Make eye contact and make sure they feel utterly comfortable. This will help convey a degree of confidence. It also helps assure that they feel as though you are fully engaged and respect the elements they are corresponding about. This is especially applicable with organizational interactions, because you want them to feel completely confident in your ability to aid them along the way. I would say that your initial reaction towards a person will create a lasting persona, which may be challenging to change once the thought has entered their mind.
2. Stand up and shake their hand. This documents your willingness to truly connect with them and allows you to establish common ground from the commencement of your dialogue. You can even impress them with the hand shake alone, depending on the firmness of your shake. Practice with your close associates and make sure they would be willing to work with you, based on the demeanor and attitude that your represent. You may not think this can be illustrated with a mere hand shake, but you never know.
3. Ask them if they need anything and assure them that they are the focal point of all your energy. This will allow them to see your utilitarian nature and willingness to help. People want to feel as though your relationship or pending interaction is valuable from your perspective. The goal should be to convey a degree of professional and maturity, regardless of the avenue for connection. It could either be regarding personal matters or even a professional acquaintance; it really doesn’t matter and you should strive to remain affianced nonetheless.
4. Follow-up and make sure to thank them for their time. People love to hear that you fully appreciate their ability to meet and take time out of their busy day. We all more than likely have families and a collective of obligations, which can make it difficult to allocate time towards opposing individuals. This can be especially challenging in the digital world that we live in. Even if it is merely a phone call, it is better than nothing. Personally I would recommend a hand written note or email expressing your gratitude. They won’t necessarily expect it, but maybe you will make their day slightly more optimistic.
Just remember that communication can be a vehicle to success or even impediment. Remain confident and never doubt your ability to connect with people from varying perspectives. At the root of it all, we are all human beings and we require others to fully experience life.
Ryan Schoenefeld is a recent graduate from St. Cloud State University, in which he focused on public relations, graphic design, digital marketing and communication. Since graduation, he launched and analyzed a social media marketing campaign for M Squared Group, a results-driven marketing company in Minneapolis. He is currently a Web Content Specialist at Health Partners and recently commenced The Continuous Disquisition. You can connect with Ryan on Twitter and on LinkedIn.