Although the tips will be concentrated on how to find and talk to people who have had more success than you, it is also about the quality and the art of conversation and communication.
We communicate on an everyday basis, and it doesn’t matter if you spend your day alone or with someone, I am sure you use social media in any form and that my friend is also a form of communication. Even the silence.
Well, what you don’t say is also a part of communication.
So let’s go back to basics!
What Exactly is Effective Communication And How Do You Know You Are Good At It?
Well, simply said this is a step you should skip or forget in this article, because it will differ if you need some more help before you start talking to someone successful or if you are good to go. Of course, this doesn’t make successful people some giants you can’t actually get to, but once you do it is safe to say that you will need to use the time you have with them in a good way. Their time is limited so having them listen to you already means you have succeeded in this part of your conversation.
The ability to communicate effectively with superiors, colleagues and generally successful people is essential to you and your career, no matter what industry you work in. Workers in the digital and this technological age must know how to effectively convey and receive messages in person as well as via phone, email and social media. Good communication skills will help get hired, land promotions and be a success throughout your career. Of course the art of conversation is something you will learn along the way, but it is also something you should invest a part of your time in.
Often when we try to communicate with others something goes astray. We say one thing, the other person hears something else or misinterprets it, and misunderstandings, frustration, and conflicts occur. This would be fine if it didn’t often escalate and cause problems in your home, school and work relationships. For many people, communicating more clearly and effectively requires learning some important skills. And for today, in this article you will learn the skill of communication with successful people. So in despite if you are trying to improve your communication skills at home or to create better opportunities at your workplace, or you’re your colleagues, learning this skill will undeniably deepen your connections to others, build greater trust and respect, and improve teamwork, problem solving, and your overall social and emotional health.
So to answer the question, effective communication is about more than just exchanging information like it says in the definition of communication. It’s about understanding the emotion, the message fully and understanding intentions behind the words which are conveyed. So how do you actually know if you are successfully understanding and using communication in your favour?
Communication is nothing without active listening. Which means: you need to also listen in a way that gains the full meaning of what’s being said and makes the other person feel heard and understood.
More than just the words you use, effective communication combines a set of 4 skills:
- Active listening
- Nonverbal communication
- Stress management
- Assertive communication
It is important to emphasize that all of these are skills you are able to learn and gain throughout experiences in your workplace and life. But they are also skills that can easily be forgotten so you will need to use them often and improve them over time. A speech that is read, for example, rarely has the same impact as a speech that’s delivered. Meaning: you can read off of a paper and still convey your message, but if you deliver the message, your exposition will be filled with emotion, information and the importance of what you are saying. Which will of course get you one step closer to what you want to achieve. Of course, it takes time and effort to develop these skills and the more effort and practice you put in, the easier and spontaneous your communication skills will become.
The reason I am talking about effective communication before letting you know how to communicate to people more successful than you is because they all learned these skills before becoming successful themselves. They practiced their speech before getting to the people they admire and want as a mentor.
Communication skills and especially effective communication skills (active listening, non-verbal communication, assertive communication and stress management) will get you one step closer to where you need to be. It will help you communicate in a way that your idols and people you admire will understand and accept as their own. And it will definitely help you show them you respect their time, which I can guarantee will be a huge plus.
So after knowing all these benefits to a more effective communication, I want to move on to the next chapter which is why talking to successful people and someone smarter and more successful than you is good for you.
Success isn’t a place you get to but it is the road you take to get to where you need to be. And it is a mindset all successful people have developed and are maintaining in order to stay achieving their goals. See all of them have a few things in common: the hunger, the drive, the motivation and the knowledge needed to achieve their dreams. To some success is money, and the material stuff like if they own a good car or have a big fancy apartment, and to others being successful is literally making it through another day. What you think of success is your own and even though there will be people who feel the same as you, success is always subjective. It is always your own image of it.
As I said in my previous articles: I have been doing something new every day. I decided to do this so I can surround myself with people who I can admit are smarter than I am in order to help me grow. So every day, at work, I have been feeling like I am genuinely learning something new and doing something exciting. Now it has been a challenge, I won’t lie, but on the other hand it pointed out the areas I am also very good at which allows me to be also proud of myself on an everyday basis. Now, surrounding yourself with successful people is not always easy and probably a lot of you don’t know where to start (I felt the same).
But then I got to thinking, what is a successful person to me? I understood that I don’t have to talk to millionaires or rich people but to focus on the people who have things in common with me and yet are a few steps ahead of me and on positions where I would like to be. That lowered the standards and helped me get started. But here are a few specific tips on how to surround yourself with successful people now that you know that doing so will help you feel more inspired, productive and motivated.
Do The Research
This is the first step of the road to successful people and of course your own success. Now this might be the first boring part of the journey but it is definitely a necessary one.
Doing the research will help you narrow down to why you want to find successful people and who they actually are. I would suggest writing down why they inspire you and why you believe their success is good for you. To clarify I don’t mean how they can help you but to understand, why is their story important to you.
This will underline the importance for you to actually meet that person and have a conversation with.
Now, of course, this doesn’t mean stalk them into finding their favorite coffee shop or pub. This means that you can get familiar with their work, find something which inspires you and also reach out to them and possibly share your story and see if they actually agree to meet up.
The question is how?
Well after doing the research, you can check if they have any seminars, matinees, conferences or appearances in your city and see if you are able to attend them. If yes, it is the perfect opportunity to go meet them and reach out.
Reaching out to them will sometimes seem like a complicated process, but I can genuinely promise you it is just as easy as it sounds. The key is to use friendly networking or simply, reach out by an email. A lot of successful people take the time to answer an email.
But what to say to them?
Offer Help And Insight
Since all successful people have their time limited and are very focused on their work you can use that in your advantage. Time is of the essence but also a gift.
Going to them and sending them an email explaining how they can help you is sadly a waste of their time, because guess what? They aren’t really looking for people to help out getting nothing in return.
So what you can actually do is offer help and insight. Offering them a way to help them in their journey and projects in any way possible you will have more chance to be heard. This will mean that you dedicated your time into doing the necessary research and finding out more about what they do. Now sometimes they will look past that and it might sound like you don’t have much chance, but trust me, they won’t skip a chance for a free advertisement or any kind of help. They would be crazy to reject free stuff even being rich and successful. That way you will have an opportunity to tell your story and will be pulling them in slowly without risking the cord to break.
Who knows, maybe they bite the hook for good and help you out by giving you an amazing job!
Make a Strategy
Now that you have all that in mind and on paper, it is time to design the perfect strategy in how you are going to make it all happen. It is important to say that it doesn’t matter if you are trying to reel in just one person or more people who inspire you, you can hear different stories and learn more skills as you go along. I for one have a few people who inspire me and teach me new things.
In designing your plan to meet and talk to people more successful than you, use a fresh new notebook for all your amazing ideas and plans for the future and write down all the characteristics you think make someone successful and for future reference circle those you already have.
Because it will put in perspective everything you are seeking for to be. It is the person you are trying to stay or be or become. Just be realistic.
Of course, by now, you have already made the list of the people who inspire you and who you want to meet and talk to including all the reasons why.
So now all that is left is to make a plan on how you will actually approach them. This time, don’t focus on the way you will reach out (like via email or message or call or personally) but what is the message you want them to receive?
Go For It!
No excuses, no giving up. Just do it for yourself.
Surrounding yourself with these kinds of people will not only make you successful yourself but it will give you new material, new ideas, new opportunities, an increase in productivity and help you stay motivated and focused. You only have to decide these are the benefits you want to have and work on achieving skills. And when you put it that way, it doesn’t seem like much, right?