“To be successful in life you have to be a Good Communicator”, said one of our professors on the first day of my MBA school. I wholly accepted that statement because to get admission in to a Post Graduate MBA degree was not the easiest. Apart from the series of written tests, it was imperative that you come up on tops at the various Group discussions held to find your suitability for admission. I must admit, that even though I was very socially active, part of cultural college events and a sportsman strangely though had a fear for public speaking. Had two of my best buddies of those times who were good orators and comperes in shows who did not give up on me and there started my first learning and the beginning of the road to being a Communicator. As done in my first article of Super Sales Mantra, here again will be focusing on the more innate part of communication and not the external communication skill sets like Good language, Voice modulation, Tone, Body language etc. which can always be developed.
So going back to my first learning:
Give up the Fear of the unknown;
We all have our hidden fears and the most common one is the fear to talk openly in a group or audience. What happens when we do not talk? I would say nothing happens.. but what happens when we talk? Ans - People listen!!! We have to understand that majority of human beings start with the fear, what will others say? Will I look stupid? Is my question a nonsensical one?? Etc. So when many of us are in the same boat, why worry? My friends said to me during my MBA preparation, just talk even if you make less sense, slowly you will start overcoming this fear and start making sense. The fear is what is holding you back. Once you develop the confidence to open your mouth and speak, words will start flowing in to your mouth. So, from there my journey started in being a good communicator, I started speaking boldly, not worrying about what others will think. Was successful and started getting through my Group discussions. So my secret to overcome my fear, a) Start talking b) Do not worry about what others will think c) Be confident about what you say, d) Say it with a smile, the inner fear disappears.
This leads to my 2nd Learning:
Expand your knowledge on various topics;
To speak and to say something, you need to have some knowledge on various topics. Reading becomes an important part of your daily portfolio. To be a good communicator and hold discussions with customers, friends, Bosses, Peers, family or any one for that matter you have to have knowledge on many subjects. With my experience, I have noticed that when I am with customers less than 20% of the times we talk business and work, 80% of the times it is different worldly matters, Current affairs, family etc. Building bonds and good relationship with customers, Peers, friends it is important that you have sufficient Ammo to feed in for a Good conversation. People like people who can talk and especially with Customers , you should have the ability to understand his topic of interest and strike a conversation. This though comes with experience, everyone can try asking the customers their interest. A good communicator is one who can strike the right wavelength with the person he is communicating with and gets a positive response to his communication.
This lead to my 3rd Learning:
Practice makes a Person Perfect;
All what I have said above seems nice, But I know you are wanting to ask me how easy is it? I would say as easy your mind allows it to be!!! It is all in the mind on how we take things, if you take it as difficult, so be it, if you think it is easy, so it is. Practice, Practice, Practice is what I will preach here to achieve perfection. In any field it is imperative we continuously work on ourselves in our quest towards perfection. Read daily various books, Newspapers, and up your general knowledge and Current affairs through News channels. Improve your spoken skill to get confidence by reading loudly and fast to get that fluency. Rehearse for presentations, meetings and if possible in front of a mirror. This helps you to know how exactly you look and gives you the feel of talking to others.
Now to my 4th Learning:
The Art of anticipation;
In any communication, it is important to anticipate responses to your communication. As said by many Pundits, being a good Listener is essential skill in your quest for communication excellence. We have to be alert to the responses, be patient and anticipate the next move. Most of the times with experience, your question or sentence will have to be framed in such a way that you get the responses you seek. Right questioning skills practiced regularly will help in anticipating the results you get. Many a times in our conversations, we have this thought,” I was expecting him to just say that”, this so happens because of your art of anticipation.
Lastly the most important Learning;
The Purity of Intent;
Would like to narrate a real experience with a Middle age Tender Coconut sales lady on the streets of Chennai-India. On a hot sultry day this Coconut vendor was the closest to my getting a thirst quencher. There was her competitor, a man as well with his stall next to hers. But what made me go to her was her simplicity and purity of intent. She was all smiles welcoming us for a drink. I asked her where are these coconuts from? and she said; from a town down south which was famous for the sweet water coconuts. Being of inquisitive mind and a Sales & Marketing person by profession myself, asked her-what is the guarantee that the coconut you will give me will be sweet? She said, Sir with my experience I guarantee my product. I ordered two for me and my wife and strangely though, my drink turned not that sweet. Even thought I was disappointed, I did not want to debate with this poor Street vendor. Suddenly I saw her cutting another Coconut and she said, Sir-It seems your drink is not as sweet as you anticipated, please return and take this new one. It so turned out the new coconut was awesome. She took money for two, even though I offered her for three. Her parting words were” As long as your thirst is quenched and your happy, I have served the divine”. There was a lot of learning from this so called illiterate vendor who had more wisdom than many learned people. That day, the lesson I learnt was it is important to have purity of intent and a clean heart in any communication. We always have some expectation’s or seeking ulterior benefit in any communication, but one had without any expectations gets you the best results is my learning from that day onwards. I know this is not as per conventional norms, but try it and see for yourself, if not do what works for you. So, My sincere advise to all learners” Communicate without expectations and pure intent, you get more than you can expect”.