11 Keys to Effective Human Communication (and the #1 secret to getting anyone to like you)

The Art of Listening for Law Students is the Key to Success in Life

What’s the #1 secret to getting anyone to like you?

One of the fiercest political rivalries of the 19th century was between William Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli.  Both were vying to become the next Prime Minister — at that time in England, the winner would practically control half the world.

A young woman dined with the men on consecutive nights.

A reporter asked her about her impression of the rival statesmen.

“When I left the dining room after sitting next to Mr. Gladstone, I thought he was the cleverest man in England.”

“But after sitting next to Mr. Disraeli, I thought I was the cleverest woman in England.”

Listening is the Greatest Gift you can Give to Anyone

Without further adieu, here are the 11 keys to effective human communication:

1. Look into their eyes (or imagine doing so if you’re not speaking face-to-face).

2. Actually listen (instead of ignoring them, anxiously waiting your turn, or talking over them).

3. Continue listening (what are they REALLY trying to say?)

4. Find comfort in the silent spaces (words and silence are like life and death — there’s no one without the other)

5. Smile (it’s contagious)

6. Nod as you continue actively, actually listening (nodding also happens to be one of the most effective persuasion methods) 

7. Listen to what they aren’t saying (how often do they pause?  are they comfortable with silence?)

8. Listen to how they say what they say (vocal inflections, tone, speed)

9. Be on the lookout for non-verbal clues (e.g. you can tell they’re very happy/excited about what they’re saying if their eyes smile at you as they speak)

10. Give them feedback to show how much you really care about what they’re saying (“Let me  make sure I understand what you’re saying, I think you said [summarize their main points].”)

11. Ask them open-ended questions (be like Sherlock Holmes on the look-out for clues; inquire if necessary)

Covey Listen to Understand

It doesn’t matter whether you speak or stay silent the whole time (so steps 10 and 11 are optional).

Words are a tiny portion of communication — in fact, they often get in the way of communication.

Most people just really, really want someone to Listen.

The Word Listen Contains the Same Letters as the Word Silent Quote How to Listen

P.S. – Benjamin Disraeli won the popular election.

P.P.S – The author wrote this blog post for self-guidance.  Learning to listen is a life-long journey; many people die having never experienced the wonderful feeling of truly listening.

What Are You Waiting For? (happiness is always here and now)

Happiness in Intelligent People is the Rarest Thing I Know Ernest HemingwayBy now you know emotions and logic aren’t best friends

So why are you waiting for a reason to be happy?

Abraham Lincoln on Happiness

Here’s the secret to being happy: choose to be happy now.

(luckily, it’s always now)

Gaze into the world with eyes of wonder and a heart overflowing with gratitude.

Laugh at yourself.

Smile at others.

Accept everything as it is.

Let go of trying to control that which you can’t control

(like your thoughts, your feelings, other people, and 99.9% of the things you worry about — including the past and the future).

Epictus Happiness One Way Stop Worrying Quote

If you insist on basing your happiness on a reason, here’s one: you’re alive!

(the other 300,000,000 sperms who lost the race would gladly trade places with you).

Albert Camus Never Be Happy If You SEARCHStruggling for happiness is one of the best ways to NOT be happy.

Happiness is beyond reason, beyond logic.

Happiness is what’s left when you let go of searching and struggling.

Happiness is Always Here and Now

Shred your illusion that happiness is around the corner.

Happiness = Here + Now.

Lao Tzu The Whole World Belongs to You Quote

P.S.  if you want to be really, really happy, make it your life mission to make others really, really happy.