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13 Jan 2014

Technique Personalizing Communications and Conversations

This entry is part 2 of 7 in the series Leveraging Relationships in Communications

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Once people learn how to personalize a conversation and communication, they will be better able to leverage relationships for action.

Objectivity is prized in business; however, it comes at the cost of personalization. For instance, One HR Director seeing the paradox said that personalization was exactly opposite of normal training which emphasized “don’t make it personal” focus on behaviors. While this is good for negative behaviors, it’s not good for positive ones because without personalization helps employees to internalize good behaviors, the most powerful and enduring motivation.

So, when it comes to personalizing our communications, we are essentially employing two simple tactics using the:

  1. Singular forms of I and you as opposed to the singular forms of he, she, it and the plural forms of we, you, they
  2. Names of individuals

As a basic example, let’s take this generic statement which could be said to anyone:

Our new business model helps us deliver better service to clients because we can deliver everything through a single contact.

By simply inserting a name at the beginning, we’ve personalized it:

John, our new business model helps us deliver better service to clients because we can deliver everything through a single contact.

It also helps to mention other people especially in neutral and positive contexts:

John, our new business model helps Sandra, Tom and you to deliver better service to clients because you can deliver everything through Mary, a single contact.

People like to be mentioned positively regarding their contributions. Even though Sandra, Tom and Mary won’t know this, you are subtly teaching John that if you talk positively about others to him, you are likely talking positively to others about him. If you regularly do the same with the others, they will learn too that you acknowledge people for their contributions. In the end, you will help them identify personally with their jobs and strengthen your relationships with them.

 

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