The more I practice the after you philosophy the more in love with it I fall. It’s so simple and so completely underutilized. People will be surprised you used it and totally glad you did.
“After you” is the most clearly stated and kindly intentioned communications strategy I have seen in a long time. Its as simple as discussing yourself after learning about others.
Here’s why I think its so important:
Listening to others is a tremendous way to honor them. Honoring people is a great way to build solid relationships.
Many people believe that the person talking is controlling the conversation. The truth is the person who is listening actively and asking good questions is really in charge. You can direct the conversation and they feel good about being listened to.
The people with whom you are communicating will think you’re a wonderful conversationalist because you’re paying attention to them.
When you let the other person speak first they won’t be worried about what they will say when its your turn to speak. They will already have said it all.
This assures that not only will they hear your message they will be likely to want to learn more you because you did such a good job of listening to them.
And as an added bonus you really get to learn what type of person you’re dealing with. Imagine going through all of these good communications skills only to find out that the person with whom you are speaking doesn’t want to afford you the same courtesy. Great. Now you know where you stand with them and can save a lot of time on them in the future.
If you happen to be networking with someone who read this same note, simply smile and say “No, really. After you.” HA HA. Seriously, one of you will have to start.