Parents are often the only shot any of us have at having a success-mentor in life. Being a parent success-mentor isn’t easy. It requires that you say “no” a lot. It requires that you monitor your children. It requires that you become a disciplinarian. But most importantly, it requires that you set an example for your children. Being a parent success-mentor means you need to walk the walk AND talk the talk.
Thanks to all of the recent advances in technology, communication has become more efficient. Today’s phones, emails and social media have displaced the art of conversation and now make it possible to communicate thoughts and ideas with a few keystrokes. Carrying on a fifteen minute conversation has become passé. Now you can say what you want to say and move on. While technology has increased our ability to communicate efficiently, the fallout is the loss of effective communication that is only possible with one on one dialogue. One of the struggles employers have with the millenial generation is their inability to communicate effectively and carry on a meaningful conversation. This deficiency shows up on college and job interviews, which requires extensive one on one dialogue. The inability of millennia’s to engage in effective one on one dialogue makes it difficult to get into choice colleges or secure that ideal job. Parents need to teach their children how to communicate effectively if they want their children to be successful in life. What follows are some communication strategies parents should teach their kids if they want them to become happy and successful in life as adults.
In life you will have many opportunities to meet new people. The more successful you become, the more new people you’ll meet. These meetings represent an incredible opportunity to develop valuable relationships. Some may be your next employer, future spouse, next best friend, future co-worker, next mentor, an investor or future business partner. There are 5 basic rules to making introductions:
- Firm Handshake.
- Make Eye Contact.
- Tell them who you are, why you’re here and who you know at the event.
- Ask questions about the person you are introducing yourself to. We already covered that so let’s move on.
Engaging in Conversation
Your children are going to meet a lot of people in life. I found there’s a common thread that runs through everyone. They are single-mindedly focused on themselves. Most people are thinking about one thing during every conversation – themselves. Everyone thinks they are the most important person in the world. It’s a human tendency to be selfish and this shows up everywhere, including when we are carrying on a conversation with people. It’s a very important concept to grasp. When you run into these new people in life you need a plan, a process to help you turn every relationship into gold. Part of that process is to learn as much about your relationships as possible and you do that by asking questions abut them. Get to know them. Always focus on the other person and resist that human tendency to put yourself first. Make being unselfish in conversations a Rich Habit by asking these questions to every new person you meet in life:
- Obtain basic contact information for everyone you meet: name, address, phone number, email, etc.
- Are you married?
- If yes, what is their spouse’s name?
- Do you have any children?
- If so, what are their names?
- What’s their birthday?
- Where do they live? Do they like where they live?
- Do they have any hobbies?
- What schools did they go to? Did they go to college or graduate school?
- What schools did their spouse and children attend?
- What are they most proud of?
- Do they know any celebrities or important people? Who?
- What do they do for a living?
- What does their spouse do for a living?
- Do they like to read? If so, what do they like reading? Who’s their favorite author?
- Do they like music? Who’s their favorite band, singer, etc?
- What do they do for a living?
- If their spouse or children work, what do they do, where do they work?
- Political affiliation?
- Religious affiliation?
- Where did they live before their current home?
- Do they like play sports? If so, what and when and do they play any sports now?
- Do they drink alcohol? If so, what do they drink?
- What’s their favorite foods?
- What type of car do they drive?
- What are their goals?
- What groups, non-profits or community organizations are they affiliated with?
- Where do they like to vacation?
- Do they travel at all? If so, where have they been?
- What did their parents do for a living?
- Where did they grow up?
- Who are their favorite celebrities?
- What licenses or professional designations do they have?
- What are they really good at in life?
- Do they exercise? If so, what do they do?
Last thing. Always look everyone in the eye and smile a lot.