Effective communication can mean the difference between meaningful relationships and ones where you are constantly at odds with other people. When it comes to communicating for your online business this can mean the difference between lifestyle and financial success or a dismal existence. It’s your choice.
According to two experts in effective communication, psychologists Dr. Martin Seligman and Dr. Shelly Gable you can learn to improve your relationships with others simply by following some of their basic teachings.
Seligman teaches four possible communication responses. These include the communication styles of “active constructive”, “passive constructive”, “passive destructive”, and “active constructive.” Here are some examples using the example of a colleague telling you their latest online launch was a huge success and your possible responses:
“Active constructive”: “That’s great. I’m so happy for you. Will you be planning another launch before the end of this year?”
“Passive constructive”: “That’s nice.”
“Passive destructive” (ignoring the event): “I just watched the funniest video on YouTube. Here it is.”
“Active destructive” (pointing out negative aspects of the event): “You know lots of people will refund. And someone else is sure to steal your ideas.”
Try this in your business today to find out which type of effective communication (or not so effective) you employ before thinking. Just last night I was engaged in an email discussion with someone who was very negative about a change that will affect most of us in the online marketing world. At first I was passively constructive, but once I gave it some thought I moved to the active constructive mode and make it a win-win conversation. She was grateful and I was proud of how I handled the situation through to the end.
Dr. Seligman is the father of something called “positive psychology” and this is what he calls PERMA, the five pillars of well-being:
P – Positive emotion (happiness, fun, gratitude);
E – Engagement (flow; loosing ourselves or becoming completely absorbed in our work, our hobbies, or in the moment);
R – Relationships (those that touch our hearts, our souls and our minds);
M – Meaning (a sense of purpose and fulfillment in our lives) and
A – Accomplishment (learning and moving forward with endeavors big and small and knowing and using your strengths).
Dr. Gable takes effective communication to the next level as she observes peoples reactions to good news.
- Pay attention. Let the person who is talking to you “see” that you are listening. Look them in the eye, turn your body toward them. Smile, laugh, touch them. Body language says so much!
- Say something positive: “Oh, Joel, that is wonderful.” “I’m so happy for you. Let your choice of words and the way you say them show your excitement.
- Ask detailed and relevant questions: “When did you get this good news?” “How did you find out?” And, then follow-up with a sincere “Tell me all the details.” or “You must have been so excited, tell me all about it.” Any words that show your honest interest are the perfect words. You don’t need to overdo it, just ask and then listen actively. Stay involved in the conversation so the person you care about, can share and savor the good news with you. Let the conversation be all about them.
- Suggest a way to celebrate. “Let’s go out to dinner to celebrate.” “Let’s go to the movies.” Simply fill in the blanks with whatever you know the person or child would really enjoy.
This all becomes more challenging when we are working almost exclusively online. Whenever possible, take your client or prospect off line with a phone call or a chance to meet in person. Listening, body language, and the written word can most definitely be incorporated into your online business as effective communication in its purest and most positive form.
I’m author and online marketing strategist Connie Ragen Green. I work with entrepreneurs to create multiple streams of online income and would love to connect with you. Download my Online Entrepreneur’s Blueprint and get started right away.