‘Eloquence is the power to translate a truth into language perfectly intelligible to the person to whom you speak‘ – Ralph Waldo Emerson. American writer and poet.
Nowadays you have to speak to many people from different parts of the globe. You need to use language they can readily understand. This is particularly crucial when influencing in an international context. How can you do that?
A couple of key ideas:
1- You need to ensure you are reading right the situation you are in.
It seems common sense, doesn’t it? Not so common, really. Active listening will enable you to process how people speak. Pace, tone, volume, pitch, accents, background, and so on. The type of questions and your body language will help you to get the other person talking more than you do. That is a key to understand them better. To know how they like to be spoken to.
2- You have to adapt to the situation you are in.
Obvious, right? But not everybody is able to adapt to the situation. Certain people interact following the ‘my way or the highway‘ communication style. But at the end of the day you want to build rapport with people and have a positive impact on them, don’t you? And that calls for making allowances. You are never going to stop being yourself, and yet you would do well in adapting to a certain degree. If you are a spaniard from Malaga and you speak usually quite fast, wouldn’t you adapt your speed to speak to someone from other region or country? That would help the other person to feel at ease and confident they are fully grasping what you are saying.
How good are you reading a situation? Be brave! Ask your mate and friends, let’s see what they think. Can you think about an instance when someone serioursly misread a situation? Do you want to share the story?