10 Tips for Improving Social Interaction

9. BE OBSERVANT

10 Tips for Improving Social Interaction by Tim Bryce

As I have frequently written in the past, if there is anything constant in life, it is changing. Change is always around us, but it takes a perceptive person to be able to spot the smallest of changes, whether it be a new hair style, someone losing weight, a small job well done, or whatever. When a change is observed, ask yourself why it has happened. Be inquisitive and understand the rationale for the change. This will help you adapt to the change as well as improve your interpersonal relations. For example, people are easily flattered when someone compliments them on a change. It means you are perceptive and interested in the person, both of which puts you in good standing with the other person.

Included in this area is the observance of the names of people. It is embarrassing to both parties when a name is forgotten. In particular, it sends a signal to the other person that he/she is irrelevant in your eyes. This certainly does not help build relationships. Asking for business cards is one thing, remembering names is something else. This may require a little effort but it is time well spent.

It is these little observations that go a long way. As an example, perhaps the best secretary I ever saw was a lady named Myrna who worked for an MIS Director in Chicago. The first time I visited the office, Myrna warmly greeted me and asked if I wanted a cup of coffee. Saying Yes, she then asked me what I wanted in it. I said cream and sugar, which she then made for me. Months later when I returned to visit the MIS Director, Myrna greeted me by name and presented me with a cup of coffee with cream and sugar. Frankly, I was startled that she not only remembered my name but how I also liked my coffee. Later I found out that Myrna maintained a simple card file; whenever someone visited the office, Myrna would record their name and the type of coffee they liked. Sharp. Very sharp.