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A Key Principle of Effective Communication

effective communication

Effective communication is communication that achieves its goal.

If your goal is to create a genuine connection with another human being, and begin to build a relationship with them, you need to understand this key principle of effective communication.

Key Principle

In any communication with another person, it’s better to be interested than interesting.

Many of us have been trained to “toot our own horn” when speaking to another person. We’re supposed to awe them with our knowledge and accomplishments. We assume we’re making a positive impression when often, we’re just turning them off.

How do you feel listening to someone who is all about themselves? How long do they hold your attention? How interested are you in engaging in further conversation with them?

The reality is that what impresses us more is when someone is curious about us. It’s natural to feel good when someone shows an interest. It makes us feel significant.

A Tool for Introverts

This principle is especially helpful to introverts who often struggle to make “small talk” when engaging in conversation with someone new. Take the focus off yourself and be curious about them. You may be surprised at how interesting people actually are and how easy conversation can be as you get enthralled by who they are.

Answers to your questions usually leads to a mutual curiosity and begins to build a bridge between you that expands with further conversation. Communication becomes much easier as your understanding of each other grows.

In Business

If you’re networking to find clients or customers for your business, this is a potent tool if used authentically. People know when you’re pretending to be interested because of how you listen to their answers. But if you genuinely want to know about them, you can quickly discern whether they are part of your “target audience.” If not, well, you may have made a new friend.

And due to the Law of Reciprocity, normally, after answering your questions, they will be curious about you, giving you an opportunity to share what you’re up to.

One Way Conversation Trap

Someone who is good at asking (genuine) questions about you captures your attention and has you focused on your answers. As the receiver, this can pose a trap where the conversation then centres around you and you may miss the opportunity to learn more about them.

Ideally, if you understand this key principle of effective communication, you can become adept at tossing the question ball back and forth, answering and then asking questions, creating a reciprocal conversation that offers an authentic path to relatedness.

It’s all about balance.

Interest in another person is key to building rapport and rapport is key to beginning a truly enjoyable relationship, whether that relationship is for business or pleasure.

If you want to become a communication ninja, forget about being interesting. Be interested instead.

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