In survey after survey, when employees are asked their preferred method to receive information, 70 percent select face-to-face small team meeting or one-on-one conversation. So although our world is inundated with ways to communicate electronically, people still prefer to connect live. The need for us to interact with another human being is alive and well, and there’s a person among us who has it mastered.
Regardless of your political affiliation and stance on politics, Bill Clinton is a masterful relationship builder. John Corcoran, an aide in the Clinton White House, authored a whitepaper entitled The Bill Clinton Method Cheat Sheet. The paper documents Corcoran’s observations about how former U.S. President Clinton used several tactics to successfully build relationships with people who cleaned the White House to people who were Heads of State:
- Give every person your presence and undivided attention. Tune everything else out, stand up straight, make eye contact, and take an interest in the person in front of you, making them feel like they are the ONLY person in the room.
- Listen. Really hear what the person is saying vs. figuring out how you are going to respond. Also, follow through on your conversation, even if it’s something small like sending an article, as you’ll demonstrate you were paying attention.
- Keep it personal. People enjoy talking about their personal passions and interests. When interacting with employees, have a human conversation by asking about a person’s family, vacation plans, or hobbies.
- Take a long-term view. Slow and steady wins the race. Build relationships for the long term and you will always have people in your corner even in the darkest times.
Apply these lessons the next time you interact with someone one-on-one and observe how the other person responds. When you are completely in the moment with another human being, you can’t help but make a favorable impression and connect on a deeper level. To your success…