Business people communicating with each other against whiteIn one of my previous posts, Conscious Communication Creates Energetic Interaction, I wrote about developing conversations with intent, meaning that you create the interaction between your business, your employees and your customers.  Like Conscious Communication can gather support for ideas and propel them forward, social conversations are the glue that keeps employees and supports together to accomplish the goal.  You have been taught the rules for polite social conversation throughout your life.  These rules basically encourage you to talk about the weather, sports teams, educational achievements of your children and your pets.  In other words, you shouldn’t slip into topics that can ruffle feathers or show too much of your life that exists outside of the workplace.  The polite topics grease the wheels of social interaction, but the substance belies the actual distance between you and the person you are talking to. 

So, how can you convey respect in social conversations and create genuine conversations that bring you team together?  Achim Nowak, the business coach writer I discussed in the previous post, offers modern twists on traditional conversation topics which should create and sustain better social connections.  First, when first developing a relationship with employees or new clients, take time to find common ground.  For example, people appreciate you asking names of their children.  Follow that with a question like “How did you decide on that name?”  Asking the latter question instigates a deeper level of connection.  Often the common ground doesn’t come in the first few conversations.  Now, though, the conversations can evolve more creatively because you have honed into personally important information beyond weather and sports.

Another method of creatively evolving conversations is being comfortable in discussing current, maybe even controversial topics.  The goal is not to influence a person to your side.  The goal is to show you appreciate hearing their side of the topic and that you believe in your evolving relationship enough that differing opinions will not break the bond.

A third way to move from the realm of useful conversations to empowering ones is to show yourself as a real person.  Everyone grows in their paths from childhood through adulthood or from starting a business to being the director of an established and growing business and everyone is still making learning mistakes.

Finally, who do you choose to converse with?  If you always look for conversations that are career connections, you miss the people who daily work to make your career and your business successful.  Also, creating conversations that connect you to all types of people, colleagues, network connections, the guy sitting next to you at the airport, the person working in shipping and receiving, your child’s school bus driver, unites you to people from all walks of life and develops your ability to truly relate more.

Dale Carnegie in 1931 wrote the best-selling book “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”  Communication that creates connection was at the heart of his book, and eighty years later connecting through communication is still the best-thriving and best-selling business advice.