Further Relationship Skills
Like a popular bank account, people will like you if you pay good
interest. Listening properly to people can meet their need for connection,
status and intimacy and is a key relationship skill.
Let people know you are listening by:
- Actually listening to them, nodding, smiling and looking in their general direction.
- Feeding back what they say; showing them you know they actually said it. And then adding anything of your own. If you don’t agree at least acknowledge they’ve spoken: ‘I understand what you mean, however as far as I see it…..’, or: ‘That’s a good idea---------and it might be even better if….’
Ask opinions, advice or help
People feel important if you ask them what they think. This meets their need for status.
Talk to them about their concerns and interests
People will feel that you are interesting if you show interest in them. Don’t compromise your own personality but be aware of this basic rapport building rule.
Offer help and do favors
People like people who are helpful. Helping people practically meets all kinds of emotional needs (you should, by now, be able to work out which ones ;-)
And smile, smile, smile
Research shows that when you smile at someone pleasure centers in their brain are stimulated. People like warmth and will come to associate you with feeling good. Smiling relaxes people and make them feel they can trust you.
Basic rules on smiling:
- Don’t over do it! Whoops!
- Don’t smile when you are anxious, angry or giving negative feedback-it’s confusing!
- Don’t smile when someone else has stubbed their toe. You smiling when someone else is having a bad time gives the message that you are glad it’s not you rather than you wish it wasn’t them!
- Remember that everyone has similar emotional needs (including you!)
- Take these needs into account in social, work and romantic situations
- Keep complaints specific and avoid overgeneralising negatives
- Make compliments specific; give examples to make them ‘real’
- Listen and talk about what is important to people. And smile and look interested.
The more you meet others’ emotional needs, the more they will like you. The less you step on their emotional needs, the less offence you will cause. And if someone else offends you, check out your basic emotional needs to find out why.