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Valentina Y.

@val_yy28

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Awkward silence is a tool for emotional intelligence

The rule of awkward silence: When you are faced with a challenging question, instead of immediately attempting an answer, take your time - about 15 seconds or longer - to think deeply before you share your thoughts.

While it may feel awkward at first, it is an excellent way to build emotional intelligence - the ability to identify, understand, and manage emotions.

@val_yy28

Why Brilliant Minds Embrace the Rule of Awkward Silence | Inc.com

inc.com

When trying to solve a problem, an awkward silence can help you get to the main cause, and assist in finding better solutions.

It can help to think about questions more deeply, and with greater insight.

When communicating on Slack or WhatApp, we don't have to respond instantly. Our quick responses are seldom the best. Our response may even change if we are in a different mood.

If you're dealing with someone who's used to quick responses, instead of responding instantly, let them know you'll respond soon. The results of your communication may surprise you.

Essential Techniques For Handling People
  • Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
  • Give honest and sincere appreciation.
  • Arouse in the other person an eager want.
https://books.google.com/books/content?id=1rW-QpIAs8UC&printsec=frontcover&img=1&zoom=2&edge=curl&source=gbs_api

How To Win Friends and Influence People

by Dale Carnegie

We aren’t able to make real changes by criticizing people, and we’re instead often met with resentment. It’s important to remember that when dealing with people, we’re dealing not with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion, who are motivated by pride and ego.

Criticism is futile and dangerous. It puts a person in a defensive mode. People learn faster and retain knowledge more effectively when rewarded for good behavior than punished for bad behavior

William James
"The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated."

The only way to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.

To convince someone to do something, we have to frame it in terms of what motivates them. And in order to do that, we have to be able to see things from their point of view as well as our own.

We are interested in others when they are interested in us.

If you want to make friends, put yourself out to do things for other people – things that require time, energy, unselfishness, and thoughtfulness.

The Power Of Smiling

You must have a good time meeting people if you expect them to have a good time meeting you.

Actions speak louder than words, and a genuine smile says, “I like you, You make me happy". But an insincere grin doesn’t fool anybody. We know it is mechanical and we resent it.

Calling someone by their name is like paying them a very subtle compliment. Conversely, forgetting or misspelling someone's name can have the opposite effect and make it feel as though we are distant and disinterested in them.

From the waitress to the senior executive, the name will work magic as you deal with others.

To be a good conversationalist, be an attentive listener.

Most people would prefer a good listener to a good talker.

THEODORE ROOSEVELT
"The royal road to a person’s heart is to talk about the things he or she treasures most."
Make People Feel Important

People want the approval of those with whom they come in contact. They want recognition of their true worth. They want a feeling that they are essential to the world.

But they don’t want to listen to cheap, insincere flattery - they crave sincere appreciation.

  • The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
  • Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Neversay, “You’re wrong.”
  • If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
  • Begin in a friendly way.
  • Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.
  • Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
  • Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.
  • Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
  • Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
  • Appeal to the nobler motives.
  • Dramatize your ideas.
  • Throw down a challenge.

The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.

If we lose the argument, we lose; if we win the argument, we have made the other person feel inferior, hurt his pride, and made him resent us. In other words, we still lose.

When talking with people, we should never begin with the points on which we disagree. We should start by emphasizing the things on which we agree, and be sure to convey that we’re both striving for the same result - our differences are in method, but not purpose.

The key is to keep our opponent from saying “no,” as this is a very difficult sentiment to overcome.

Don't Condemn, Try To Understand

One of the fundamental keys to successful human relations is understanding that other people may be totally wrong, but they don’t think they are.

Put yourself in their place. Success in dealing with people depends on a sympathetic grasp of the other person’s viewpoint.

  • Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
  • Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
  • Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
  • Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
  • Let the other person save face.
  • Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement.
  • Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
  • Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
  • Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

Principles to follow:

  • Become genuinely interested in other people.
  • Smile.
  • Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  • Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
  • Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
  • Make the other person feel important-and do it sincerely.
Debating Can Be Really Fun

But it can become a problem when you become obsessed with sharing your opinions - when you won't "give up" until you've made your point to the nth degree.

Online arguments can consume hours, even days. If you find yourself in a situation where online fighting is taking so much time that it's wrecking your work and life, it's time to get some perspective.

How to Stop Getting Into Pointless Arguments Online

wired.com

A verbal debate is natural, and it's good to share opposing views and to hear arguments. The problem with online arguments is that there are no boundaries. Depending on the forum, almost anyone in the world can share their opinions with you at any time of the day or night.

There is no telling yourself that your mind is at rest now. You're ever alert looking for an argument. The reason is that you're addicted to the flood of adrenaline and dopamine that comes when you feel like you "win."

When you post something controversial online, you're inviting people with different views to engage. In some cases, you may feel so strongly about a certain topic that you think it is worth putting out there, regardless of the consequences.

However, the most polarising topics are best discussed in real-time in a small group with familiar people. In a personal conversation, we are more able to modulate what and how we share.

Choose not to post anything you know will provoke an argument if you don't think it's a good use of your time to debate it.

Instead, share those thoughts with people you can have a meaningful discussion with or journal about them for yourself.

If you decide to post something online that triggers an argument, choose your response. The person with the greatest strength is the one who does not always respond but choose when and how they engage.

If you decide to engage in a productive discussion, see where things go. If the comment comes from a bad-faith argument, either don't reply or reply with a neutral comment, "I hear you." If you need to vent, do it to someone who at least understands you.

We won't change our mind about something important because someone wrote a scathing comment. Instead, we may feel hurt and angry.

If you want someone to change their view, you usually need to share your perspective in a way that is not charged with negative emotions. If you don't think your comment will bring any good to you or them, don't comment.

Too shy to talk

Fear holds us back from forging a bond. People tend to choose to speak to people through emails and text because they feel that actually talking to them would be awkward and that they could be misunderstood.

However experiments show surprising results: "People reported forming a "significantly stronger bond with their old friend on the phone versus email, and they did not feel more awkward".

Talk more, type less: Talking on the phone is good for you

bigthink.com

  • 42% of Americans aged 20-64 earning more than $20,000 were working from home full-time in May 2020.
  • However, the lack of communication and collaboration are made known to be the biggest challenges of remote workers.
  • As remote work continues, it is important to encourage employees to adopt habits that would be beneficial to both the employer and the employee.
Writing down our memories

There is a difference between seeing - which is passive - and writing down something you have seen, something you have heard, something you have experienced. Writing it down captures the memory and acknowledges its existence.

Anne Frank (though her diary) is one of the best examples we have in history of someone bearing witness. She simply wrote down what was happening to her family, giving us a very intimate record of her family during one of the worst periods of our world's history.

How writing about difficult experiences can help you take back your power

ideas.ted.com

  • Brainstorm and jot it down: Start with the prompt, "The time when..." List at least ten things.
  • Narrow it down and focus: Go back to your list of ten and pick three things that are really bothering you, and you feel strongly about. Take 30 minutes of uninterrupted time to write. Focus on the details, the order of events, and especially how they made you feel.
  • Pick one and tell your story: You don't have to write a memoir or be a creative writer. You can also write it from someone else's perspective. Writing it down is to say that this thing did happen.
Traits Of Engaging Conversationalists
  1. They display genuine interest in what their partner is saying. They actively listen, rather than simply waiting for their own turn to speak.
  2. They demonstrate attention by looking directly at the speaker.
  3. They ask questions and go deeper into topics of others to not monopolize the exchange.
  4. They can skip the small talk for more substantial matters.
  5. They entertain and engage by telling stories and are good at bringing them up in conversations.
  6. They pay attention to their energy, body language and tone of voice to bring their statements to life.
  7. To avoid losing the focus and attention of their conversational partner, they keep the conversation flowing and don’t pause for too long or focus on dull topics. 

7 Habits of Irresistibly Engaging Conversationalists

inc.com

Recap And Reinforce

Recap or summarize your content for your audience, reviewing and reinforcing your key points.

People in the audience generally have short attention spans and this will help drive in your key points to them.

Stop Ending Your Speeches With 'Any Questions' and End With This Instead

inc.com

Invite And Engage

Instead of a quick escape by flashing an 'Any questions?' slide, invite clarifications and feedback, actively engaging the audience with the points discussed.

Have The Last Word

Share your conclusion at the end, reinforcing the key message of your presentation.

Lasting Last Impressions

Close the presentation in a meaningful and memorable way, making sure you prepare and practice it. It may be a powerful quotation or even a short story, but it should linger in the minds of the audience.

The Joy Of Talking On The Phone

In 2020, both Verizon and AT&T, two of the biggest telecommunication giants in the US, have reported a huge spike in wireless calls as well as in WiFi calling, with the length of the calls also showing a big jump.

This is surprising because most people had reduced their actual talking time in favour of email and instant messaging (iMessage and Whatsapp).

People Are Discovering the Joy of Actually Talking on a Phone - Facts So Romantic - Nautilus

nautil.us

  • Talking on the phone feels like a better, more satisfying connection, as much as it has been awkward for many, who were used to passive or async (text and email) based communication.
  • Giving compliments to each other over a phone call has a therapeutic effect that makes both feel better.
The power amplification effect

The words of the people in a position of power loom large over the people with less power.

And in most cases, the ones that have the power aren't aware of the impact of their words, because their position reduces their ability to acknowledge how their communication (both verbal and nonverbal) may affect others.

When You’re in Charge, Your Whisper May Feel Like a Shout

nytimes.com

There are three types of communications amplified by power:

  • Direct communication: even feedback (positive or negative) from someone in a position of power can easily become amplified.
  • Silence: when a company is going through a crisis for example, and its leaders respond with silence, employees’ fears are amplified and they usually think worst-case thoughts.
  • Ambiguity: In some cases, requests that seem straightforward can create worry. Take the “I need to talk to you later” statement as example.

We need to be aware of how of our words (or lack of) can influence others when we are in a position of power.

For example, the phrase “I need to talk to you later ” can create worry and anxious thoughts, but you can add a little more communication to it, to ease the other person's fears: try saying something like “I need to see you later today. But don’t worry; it’s nothing bad.”

A Good Sense Of Humor
  • Humor has many practical uses, like diffusing a difficult situation, masking one’s nervousness, coping with failure and softening the criticism doled out to someone. 
  • Humor works well in social situations and helps people who are starting any relationship to build a bond.
  • Funny people are perceived as attractive, smart and personable.

A Scientific Theory of Humor

scientificamerican.com

According to philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, humor is derived from a sudden unmatching or unexpected outcome of an event, which had in our minds a specific expectation. This causes a mild ‘violation’ in our minds, which creates the humor.

In a series of experiments, it was found that the greater the ‘violation of the expected outcome’ the greater the humor feels. It also found that certain non-words, which are a combination of letter strings (like digifin, or artorts) but have no dictionary meaning, are the most consistent in their funniness rating.


Non-words with low entropy(the extent of them being unexpected) seem to offer more surprise, and therefore, get a higher humor rating.

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