Build Trust as You Communicate

Part II: Communicating Effectively with Others

How to be a Good Conversationalist

•      1. Keep your message interesting – keep minor details to a minimum, pay attention to body language to see if interest is being maintained.

•      2. Show your sense of humor – make humorous or witty asides, and show a sense of humor about yourself.


•      3. Show an interest in the other person – ask questions to draw the other person out.

•      4. Avoid monopolizing the conversation.

•      5. Stay focused on the topic at hand.

•      6. Offer sincere compliments where appropriate.

•      7. Avoid annoying mannerisms.

•      8. Talk fairly rapidly.

Rapport Building

•      Feeling comfortable with another person, feeling on the same wavelength emotionally or intellectually.

•      Develop rapport by mirroring nonverbal and verbal behavior of the other person.

Making a Good First Impression

•      Do not discuss controversial topics or health issues.

•      Avoid off-color jokes.

•      Face the person directly, lean forward, stand upright and maintain good eye contact.

•      Keep your arms open, don’t touch your face or shift your weight.

The Art of Small Talk

•      Begin with a simple statement.

•      Introduce yourself.

•      Select a topic of general interest.

•      Make associations to other topics or ask questions to keep the conversation moving.

•      Pay attention to the other person.

•      Make a graceful exit.

Assertive Skills

•     Standing up for your personal rights and expressing ideas, needs, feelings, and beliefs in direct, honest, and appropriate ways without violating the rights of other people.


•      Passivity  - violating your own rights by failing to express honest feelings, needs, thoughts, and beliefs, thus allowing others to potentially take advantage of you.

•      Aggression – standing up for your personal rights and expressing thoughts, feelings, needs, and beliefs in ways which can be dishonest, usually inappropriate and intimidating, and always violating the rights of others.


•      Passive-aggression

•    An indirect form of aggressiveness in which we get back at someone not by what we do, but what we don’t do.

•   Ex. Not talking to people we are angry with, not showing up for appointments we have made.


•      What are the negative consequences of failing to be assertive?

•      What are the benefits of being assertive?

       Why People Fail to Behave                      Assertively

•      Fear of loss of approval

•      Failing to distinguish between assertiveness and aggression.

•      Mistaking nonassertion for politeness or consideration.

•      Mistaking passivity for being helpful with the idea that doing something you really don’t want to do will help the other person.

•      Behaving aggressively through fear of being controlled by others. 


•      A false belief that aggression is justified and the only way to get through to other people.

•      Allowing aggression to build to the boiling point through not being assertive initially.

•      Failure to accept your personal rights.

A Framework for Assertive            Communication

•      The behavior – When you do X

•      The effect - Y happens and /or I feel Y

•      The consequences – Z will occur (optional)

•      Alternatives – Please replace X with A

•      Empathic assertion – in step 1 recognize the person’s feelings and position

•      The perception check

Non-Verbal Aspects

•      Your non-verbal behavior must be congruent with the message you are trying to communicate.



Asserting Yourself with Aggressive People

•      Use empathic assertion.

•      Keep your focus.

•      Postpone discussion until cooler heads prevail.

•      Try the broken record technique.


•      Timing – speak after  1/3 to ½ of people have

•      Tact – use empathic assertion

•      Aspects of the communicator – knowledge of subject and pace of presentation.

•      Aspects of the message – emotional appeals, present both sides, repeat points.

•      Aspects of the audience – tailor message to demographics and complexity of audience.


Sales Tactics

•     That’s Not All Technique

•    The sales person throws in all sorts of extra’s to sweeten the deal.

The Consistency Principle

•      Consistency Principle is basically that once people agree to something, they tend to stick with their initial commitment. We’ll look at two ways this principle is used to gain compliance. The techniques we will look at under the Consistency Principle are the Foot in the door Technique and the Lowball Technique.

Foot in the Door Technique

•     Foot in the door Technique involves getting people to agree to a small request to increase the chances that they will agree to a larger request later.

The Lowball Technique

•     The Lowball Technique Involves getting someone to commit to an attractive proposition before it’s hidden costs are revealed.

Reciprocity Principle

•      This Principle is the rule that one should payback in kind what one receives from others.

The Door in the Face Technique

•      Involves making a large requests that is likely to be turned down in order to increase the chances that people will agree to a smaller request later.

The Scarcity Principle

•      The Scarcity Principle states that telling people they cant have something.  Only makes them want it even more.