I hope this finds you well. How are you today? I trust your week is off to a good start.
Does any of the above language look familiar? If you’re like me, you may use regularly use similar wording to start your emails. It seems like an acceptable way to start the conversation, right? Not so, according to Sue Hershkowitz-Coore, an acclaimed author and speaker who appeared at Convening Leaders 2016 in Vancouver.
“You have to be truthful,” Hershkowitz-Coore told a packed room of meeting planners and suppliers. “You have to be genuine.”
While asking someone how they’re doing may feel genuine, Hershkowitz-Coore says the reality is that this is simply filler language. It’s a default approach to starting a message, and it lacks one key component: authenticity. Hershkowitz-Coore highlighted the importance of being authentic in every exchange with your colleagues and clients. Besides, she says, if you really wanted to know how someone was doing, wouldn’t you take the time to pick up the phone?
QUIZ: Take Sue’s Email Quiz To Find Out What Kind Of Email Writer You Are
Applying Authenticity To Your In-Person Experiences, Too
Hershowitz-Coore’s advice stretches well beyond electronic communication. Whether you’re presenting to your Board of Directors or you’re trying to win a new piece of business, she stresses the importance of truly caring about what the other party is thinking and feeling. “We maintain a self-focus when we communicate,” Hershkowitz-Coore told the Convening Leaders audience. “It’s about our agenda.”
Instead of using fluff “hope you’re well” language and approaching conversations from your personal angle, Hershkowitz-Coore recommends embracing a new perspective. “The more that we can show [the other person] that we’re interested and the more we can be sure that everything revolves around their needs, the more influential we can be,” Hershkowitz-Coore said.
Interested in learning how you can refine your communication skills? Click here to watch Hershkowitz-Coore’s Convening Leaders session “Be More Persuasive! Conversation and Presentation Techniques That Win Most. "The OnDemand session is free for PCMA members.