Connecting with people

Connecting with people
If you really want to communicate effectively, you need to connect and converse with the people around you—beyond words on a screen.

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Research found that only 7 percent of communication comes from the words you use; the rest of what you communicate comes from your voice and tone (38 percent) and your body language (55 percent).

So that means when you send a virtual message, 93 percent of what you’re trying to communicate may be lost.

Embrace small talk

Small talk might not be that meaningful, but it does have a few benefits: it can make you happier and it can boost the brain’s executive functions responsible for everything from attention and focus to time management to organization.

Practice listening

Listening is the most important part of having a quality conversation—and it’s also the area most people struggle with. 

So if you want to improve the quality of your conversations at work, look for opportunities to develop and practice your listening skills. 

Open workspaces

Open office layout cuts face-to-face conversations by as much as 70 percent. The fact that an entire department could hear you talking with someone can block you from seeking connection.

Search for or create pockets of privacy within those open workspace (for example, use a conference room or a designate a quiet zone).

Take your conversations outside

If you find that you’re stuck in a conversation that isn’t going anywhere, a change of scenery can work wonders. So take your conversation outside.

It will reduce stress levels, increase positive emotions, spark creativity, and foster a sense of openness. All these will have a positive effect on your conversations.

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RELATED IDEAS

Try To Genuinely Relate

Don’t force the conversation. Try to hit on something the other person is passionate about that you’re also interested in. That way, the rapport is genuine and the person is more open to talking in-depth about the subject.

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IDEAS

Psychological Safety

Research indicates that successful teams foster “psychological safety”. This is a culture characterized by interpersonal trust and mutual respect, where people are comfortable being themselves.

Teams with psychological safety are more creative. They’re more trusting. They’re more innovative. And most of all, they’re more connected. 

It's important to make the individual you are speaking with feel heard and understood. If you're not engaged in the conversation, you can come off as being rude, selfish, or that you just don't care.

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