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6 Feb 2014

Leveraging Compliments in Conversations, A Technique

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series Leveraging Relationships in Communications

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Compliments help us leverage relationships in conversations.

This post follows up mine on personalization. It illustrates a basic conversational technique leveraging the relationships we’ve developed to generate cooperative action. It does this by linking personalization with strategic complimenting.

So, let’s start with our sample sentence from the prior post:

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

This is a generic factual statement because we can’t tell the medium or subject of the address. It could be addressed to anyone even a group. This is analogous to a clothing salesperson simply pulling something “off the rack” to sell.

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

We’ve monogrammed our generic factual statement. We know the subject of the address. It’s personalized.

  1. John, our new business model helps us deliver better service to clients because it better positions the broad knowledge base you’ve acquired.

We continue tailoring the clothing to fit our subject with an extrinsic compliment. While this might apply to others, there aren’t many John’s that have worked to acquire this.

  1. John, our new business model helps us deliver better service to clients because it better positions your natural talent to relate to others.

Here, we tailor even further with an intrinsic compliment. These tend to possess greater leverage than extrinsic ones because they refer to qualities we can’t lose; they’re innate. We emphasize this with “natural.” John’s knowledge, while broad now, could become outdated later.

Compliments have a hierarchy all their own. At the bottom, we have the common “good job compliment,” at the top various intrinsic compliments. Start somewhere and work upward. Remember, they work because the overwhelming majority doesn’t use them.

 

Series Navigation<< Technique Personalizing Communications and ConversationsLeverage Relationships in Conversations, A Technique (Pt 1) >>

2 Responses

  1. Definitely , one must get a little specific for those who are too insecure to read between the lines. Since I read well, the last one might almost seem a little patronizing, pardon my weak prose. 😉

    I love your mind.

    1. Mike Lehr

      Laura, many times a talent we have isn’t present in all others. In high school, in preparing us for a calculus test, our teacher said we have a choice. We can either memorize 22 formulae that will help us pass the test or learn to understand and work the 5 major ones which produce all of them. Some of us did the former, some the latter. Most likely you would have learned the five.

      Beyond calculus, that lesson taught me that there is a learning spectrum from concept to technique, abstract to practical. Some can take concepts and run with them. Providing specificity is insulting to them, even patronizing as it seems it is to you. Others prefer just the techniques and steps. The concept is not important to them or they need to see examples of the steps before the concept becomes clear. Beginning with the concept or presenting it is just too much esotericism, too much impracticality for their world. Providing concepts to these folks is making things more difficult than they need to be, is intellectualizing the material, or clouding the issue.

      Thank you for the compliment on my mind and thank you for visiting. Please return as often as you like.

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