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Contact High

Contact High

It’s astounding to me how many opportunities we miss to make communication easier. And by communication, in this case, I’m talkin g about applications ranging from simple hi-how-do-you-do interactions to business deals getting done, or NOT getting done as it relates to communication. I’ve found that lots of times, it’s a problem of omissions and assumptions. Here are some situations, a common way people handle them, and then a way or ways to hack them into better interactions.

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Situation: Meeting someone for the second time.
Common Interaction: “Hi, how are you doing?” (pause) “Great!”

What’s missing in the above is that by opening your second ever meeting with someone by saying, “Hi, how are you doing,” you’re not giving the other person context, in case they’ve forgotten your name. It assumes a lot. Further, if they HAVE forgotten your name, you’ve put them in a rough position.

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Instead, try this: “Hi, Leon. Chris Brogan. It was great meeting you last week at the Network2 party.”

The response has everything. It shows you remember HIS name, tells who you are, and gives Leon context.

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Situation: You’re at a conference, and there’s a Q&A.
Common Interaction: “Could you tell me about the RSS capabilities?”

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You’ve submitted the basic question and that’s okay. But here are a few things you can do to improve it. Ask the person speaking BY NAME your question. Second, give your name and affiliation (briefly!), and then ask the question. Remember that there are more people in the room than you at a conference. Part of attending conferences is to build your contact list (did you know that?). Make it easier for others, and they’ll make it easier to connect afterwards.

Instead, try this: “Jenny, Chris Brogan from Network2. Can you tell me about the RSS capabilities?”

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Situation: Chatter at a party
Common Interaction: “So, what do you do?”

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It’s not a horrible question, but it’s also such an easy one to drop into a dead end. Think about your answer. “I run a liquor store.” Or whatever. It requires YOU to come back with a good probing question, like, “Oh, you must see some interesting characters there.” And that has a second chance to be a dead end. Try for something unique, but not TOO far out there.

Instead, try this: “What’s something you hope to do over the next year?”

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The goal is simply to build better handles into both sides of all your communication interactions. If you help people communicate with you, they’ll ease the conversation, and the payoff will be better on all fronts.

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So, what are some of YOUR conversation and contact tricks?

Chris Brogan is Community Developer at Network2. There’s a party in New York on the 15th if you want to meet him. Just drop him a line: chris at network2.tv

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Last Updated on September 17, 2018

7 Signs of an Unhappy Relationship That Makes You Feel Stuck

7 Signs of an Unhappy Relationship That Makes You Feel Stuck

Relationships are complicated and when you’re unhappy, it can be difficult to tell what’s causing it and what needs to change.

Sometimes it’s as easy as opening up to your partner about your problems, while other times it may be necessary to switch partners or roll solo to get your mind straight.

When you’re in the thick of things, it can be difficult to tell if you’re unhappy in your relationship or just unhappy in general (in which case, a relationship may be just the cure you need).

Here’re signs of an unhappy relationship that is possibly making you feel stuck:

1. You’re depressed about your home life.

No matter what you do in life, you’re going to have good and bad days. Your relationship is no different.

However, no matter what you’re going through at home, you have to feel comfortable in your own home.

If you constantly dread going home because your significant other is there, there’s a problem. Maybe it’s something you already know about, everyone has an argument or just needs some alone time.

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When that yearning to be alone becomes an insatiable obsession over the course of months and years, it’s time to realize you’re not the exception to the rule.

You’re unhappy in your relationship, and you need to take a look in the mirror and do whatever it takes to make yourself smile.

2. You aren’t comfortable being yourself.

Remember all those things you discovered about yourself when you first got together? The way your partner made you feel when you met that made you fall in love with him or her in the first place.

If they don’t make you feel that way anymore, it’s not the end of the world. If your partner makes you uncomfortable about being you, then her or she is only dragging you down. It’s up to you to decide how to handle that.

You need to be comfortable with who you are. This means being comfortable in your skin and with the way you walk, talk, look, breath, move, and all the other things that make you uniquely you.

If the person who supposedly loves you doesn’t make you feel good about yourself, know that you can do better. They’re not even one in a billion.

3. You can’t stop snooping.

Mutual trust is necessary in any relationship. The only way to get that trust is with respect.

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I can find you anywhere online, no matter how private and secure you think you are. The odds of you having a password I can’t crack are slim. If we’ve met in person, I could install a remote key logger on your device without even touching it.

Finding your information online hardly takes a clandestine organization. Any idiot with a Wi-Fi-enabled device can cyberstalk you. I’m just the only idiot in the village admitting it.

So now that we know everyone snoops, it’s time to address your personal habits. Governments snoop because they don’t trust us. If you’re snooping on your partner, it’s because you don’t trust them.

It’s ok to have doubts, and it’s perfectly normal to look into anything that looks weird, but keep in mind that data collection is only half of an investigation.

If you find yourself constantly snooping and questioning everything, clearly there’s a trust issue and the relationship likely needs to end.

4. You’re afraid of commitment.

If you’ve been dating longer than a year and you aren’t engaged, it’s never going to happen.

Commitment is important. People will come up with a million ways to describe why they can’t be committed.

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No matter who you are if you like it, you need to put a ring on it. Find an engagement ring, stick a gemstone in it and marry the person. If you’re not legally able to get married or you don’t believe in it for one reason or another, have a child (or adopt one, however you’re able to) or treat your partner’s family like your own. It’s a huge financial and mental commitment.

If you’re not ready for one or the other after some time, don’t waste anymore of your precious life on the relationship.

Your relationship should be something that propels you forward. If it’s not going anywhere, make it an open relationship and call it what it is—dating multiple people.

5. You imagine a happier life without your partner.

If all you’re doing is imagining a happier life without your partner, it’s a sign that you’re in the wrong relationship. You’re unhappy and you need to get out.

Your partner should be included in your dreams. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a future with someone.

Try to remember what you dreamed of before you got your heart broken by the realities of life, love and the pursuit of human success.

Remember when you would crush on that cute kid in class? You would secretly imagine marrying him or her and going on an adventure—that’s the way life should be.

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If you’re not at least imagining adventures together, then why are you in that relationship?

6. You resent, rather than love your partner.

When a relationship starts to crumble, you begin to resent your partner for all the things you once loved about him or her.

When you’ve reached this point, your partner has reached at least No. 2 on this list. From your partner’s perspective, your unhappiness with them is picked up as bashing them for being who they are.

If you’re both unhappy in the relationship, it’s better if it ends as quickly and painlessly as possible.

7. You chase past feelings.

It’s okay to reminisce about the past, but if all you do is wish things were like they used to be, it’s a sign you’re not on the right path.

You’re unhappy and, at the very least, you need to have an open dialogue about it. This isn’t necessarily a sign that the relationship should end, but it definitely needs a spark.

When you talk to your partner candidly about what it is you’re looking for, you never know how they’ll react. The risk alone is worth it, good or bad.

Final thoughts

If you’re feeling stuck in your current relationship, it’s time to reflect about it with your partner. Don’t ignore these signs of an unhappy relationship as they will slowly go worse and harm both you and your partner in long-term.

Featured photo credit: josh peterson via unsplash.com

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