Some of the most well-known conversationalists, like former US President Bill Clinton, are known for being able to walk into a room and relate to anyone. Clinton, and others like him, are able to access what is known as the chameleon effect. The chameleon effect was discovered as a result of a landmark study in 1999, which found that our subconscious brain looks for traits in the people we are talking to that are similar to our own. Here are three ways you can use the findings from the study to learn the appropriate conversation topics with coworkers.
1. Mirror Body Language
When talking to coworkers or a stranger at a networking event, try to start observing the other person’s body language. The next step is to casually and subtly changing your body language to reflect theirs. This is a great way of building instant rapport with others and can be an important part of getting people on your side at work.
2. Practice Active Listening
Let’s face it, we all have a difficult time focusing on one thing these days. Half of the time we are conversing, we are also checking our phones or thinking about the next stressful task we have to do. Instead of talking past each other, start practice active listening. The next time you’re having a conversation with a coworker, simply paraphrase or repeat something they said to confirm you understand it. By really listening to others you can make deeper connections for better results in the workplace.
3. Believe What You Say
It’s much easier to get co-workers onboard with what you want to accomplish if you deeply believe in what you are saying. If you want to create a more positive, forward thinking atmosphere among your staff, then create that state within yourself. It’s much harder to get people in your corner if they can sense insincerity or a lack of belief in the message you are trying to send. By focusing on your internal state, it will naturally radiate out towards your colleagues and rub off on them.
Practicing a few of these simple techniques will go a long way toward becoming a better conversationalist. It can seem like conversational chameleons were born with an inherent skill for gab, but the reality is their skill is a result of deliberate practice, which is something we can all start today at work. The benefits of better communication with our colleagues are too important to pass this opportunity up.
Are you interested in improving your company’s communication with both field and office workers? Get in touch with us to find out more about Beekeeper – mobile communication tool for teams and companies, and we’ll be more than happy to show you how you can reach and engage your employees in a simple and secure way.