Ever wondered what makes your colleagues tick? What turns them on in the office? Or do you save all your best lines for that special someone back at home?
We’re not talking about seduction in the office but we are suggesting that there are some simple techniques you can use that lend themselves well to the bedroom and the boardroom.
This 14th February we’re looking at three specific communication ideas that you can use whether you’re looking to woo your valentine or bowl over your boss. You might even be surprised just how similar your approach should be - after all good communication is at the heart of all great relationships, is it not?
Idea 1: Be positive and show your appreciation
You love your partner, but do you ever think about exactly what it is you love about them? Is it that they always go out of their way to help people who they care about? Or do they always make people feel a million dollars? Whatever it is, tell them. Be specific. Avoid generalisations or generic compliments, “you’re so nice,” doesn't really say very much at all. Instead try and hone in on what they do or say that makes you adore them, “you’re so good at making people feel special.” Showing your loved one, you notice the little things they do will make them feel truly acknowledged, and we all know what a lovely sensation that is.
An added bonus to all of this is that by offering genuine compliments like these, you’ll be initiating a positive feedback loop. Let’s put that in plain English. If you make your partner feel good about something, they’ll receive a hit of feel-good chemical serotonin meaning they’ll want to do it more. Which is great for you, right?
Meanwhile, back in the boardroom, you can also put this positive approach to good use. Try and notice those around you, what they do well and ask yourself what is their particular charm or talent. You can then use these observations to build a positive relationship. A version of this can be used to start meetings, where you begin by asking each person to share something they are proud of, and something they want to praise in another. This little gem alone can transform meetings into a place of inspiration, as the feel good vibe catches on.
You can also use this concept if you want to interject over someone in a meeting. Start with a positive statement and the interrupted person will feel much more inclined to listen. "What a brilliant idea!' will stop a speaker who isn't coming up for air, far more effectively than an infuriated interruption.
And if you’re looking for a way to deliver a more delicate message, start with a genuine compliment, “I can see you’re passionate about this, that’s great. What I’d like to add is…” You’ll find the recipient of your words is far more inclined to take your comments on board.
They say “positivity breeds positivity” - use this to your advantage in the bedroom and the boardroom.
Idea 2: Use ‘love language’ to tune into their values
In his book, The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman writes about the importance of being able to express your love for your partner in a way that they can understand. The idea is that learning to speak your partner’s ‘primary love language’ will unlock the secret of a long-lasting relationship. Chapman names the languages of love as words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. By tuning into your partner’s values you can work out how best to show your love to them. And it’s never too early - break the ice on those awkward first dates by asking what rocks their world and makes their heart sing? You’ll be collecting valuable love language clues and can plan a follow-up date that’s sure to knock their socks off.
Be warned though: don’t assume your partner’s needs are the same as your own. For instance, if great communication is important, they may enjoy a deep and meaningful over a long, lingering valentine’s dinner rather than the hike in the wilderness that you yourself would prefer. Providing for the needs of your partner shows you care about them, but more importantly it shows that you’ve been listening to them. Powerful stuff!
Making yourself aware of other people’s values can be useful in a work setting too. If you relate requests and comments back to your colleague’s internal compass or values you’ll be able to engage with them on an emotional level. For example, if an ambitious subordinate’s work doesn’t come up to scratch, don’t just send them away with a reprimand and instruction to do better - that will just leave them feeling defensive. Instead, use it as an opportunity to help them reach their potential and be the best they can be. Try: “I know how driven you are, I always see you striving for perfection. I don’t believe this is representative of your high standards, so try again and show me what you can really do. Blow me away!”.
In other words, tap into their desire to be the best they can be and give them the inspiration they need to smash the task.
Idea 3: Authenticity is everything
We’ve already talked about what makes your partner feel special, but what about you? What do you need from them? Work out what your ‘love language’ is, or simply think about what makes you happy. If you can express your wants and desires rather than making your partner figure it out for themselves it can make a real difference in your relationship, helping you both learn more about each other’s needs, working harder to meet them and making you both infinitely happier.
So instead of maintaining that air of mystery, give your partner a break by being honest. Try, “I love doing stuff together”, “I’d love for us to go and do something together this Valentine’s Day”, or simply “I love it when you tell me what you love about me, it makes me happy.”
And being authentic in your dealings with others can take you a long way in a work setting too. Whether you’re leading a team, you’re a salesperson out in the field or you’re pitching for the biggest gig of your life, share your story, open up about your values and aspirations and make your passions clear. Being successful in business is about connecting with people on a human level. So coming across as honest, trustworthy and genuine will get you a lot of the way there.
We get that mixing up life in the bedroom with life in the boardroom isn’t always recommended. But in the case of communication we give you our permission to have a little fun and see how you can use these techniques to your advantage.
We wish you a wonderful Valentine’s Day, wherever you choose to spend it.
And if you'd like to get some more powerful tips for speaking effectively at work - why not download our speak clearly at work eBook here?
If you would like to learn more about how to improve any aspect of your communication and speech don’t hesitate to get in touch here.