Communication Cues from Cupid

While all of ProComm’s programs are focused on communication skills for business, we are always touched and often surprised by the number of participants in our programs who comment on how much the skills they gained will help them in their personal lives as well.

That makes perfect sense to us. While some skills are specific to business – interacting with visual aids, for instance – most of the skills we teach not only can be carried over into our personal lives, but probably should be. Good communication improves all relationships.

So for Valentine’s Day, we’re sharing some of the core communication skills you can use to improve your relationships with friends, family, and, of course, your valentine.

Look Them in the Eye

Looking into someone’s eyes can help build trust and project confidence in a business situation and help build closeness and intimacy in a more personal relationship. The old adage about eyes being windows to the soul is not wrong. In any situation, your eyes communicate much that words can’t express.

Be aware of how often you make eye contact. Focus on holding eye connection for at least 4-5 seconds. Avoid rapid glances or darting which can convey nervousness. On the flip side, be careful that you are not staring which can seem aggressive and overwhelming to your listener. Balance is key.

Truly Listen

The ability to listen well is crucial to any relationship. We all know it’s rude to interrupt, but thinking about how you are going to respond while the other person is still talking isn’t much better.

Instead, pause for a few moments before responding. Not only does that give you time to think, the other person will realize that you are taking their words seriously enough to consider them before responding.

Give the gift of your full attention. People can sense when you’re not – usually because they are reading your…

Body Language

Most people can instinctively read body language pretty well, even if they aren’t trained. If someone is leaning away from the person they’re conversing with or constantly glancing around the room or at their phone, you would sense that they aren’t engaged. If their arms are crossed across their body, you might suspect they are resistant to what the other person is saying.

Sometimes, our body language conveys something we don’t intend. We’re leaning back because we’re tired or crossing our arms to support our shoulders in an armless chair. Check to make sure your body language is displaying engagement. Lean in, make frequent eye contact, relax your arms. Watch your facial expressions too – nodding and smiling in appropriate places signals you are listening.

Becoming an effective communicator means paying attention to more than just your words. If you really want to upgrade your skills, try recording yourself in several different conversations. Virtual meetings are a good opportunity or use your smartphone. Watch the recordings with volume on and volume off. You may be surprised what you see.

We wish you a very happy Valentine’s Day!