“Through interviews, surveys, and studies with hundreds of people, I’ve found that the anxiety most of us feel in new situations is rooted in these three activities,” writes Rollag in The Harvard Business Review. Rollag offers a variety of tips to improve these skills. Among our favorites:
- Introduce Yourself: If roles were reversed and they approached you, would you be open to them? People appreciate a newcomer reaching out with an introduction.
- Remember Names: Commit to paying attention. Then repeat the name and use it during the conversation.
- Ask Questions: Ask short, to-the-point questions that are easy to understand. Ask open-ended follow up questions to continue the dialogue. When someone responds helpfully, be sure to express gratitude immediately.
Getting comfortable in new situations involves a degree of risk tolerance and also overcoming old habits. The more consciously we practice these skills, the more likely we will become comfortable, confident, communicative newcomers.
We want to hear. What skills have you successfully employed to put yourself and others at ease in new situations? To join the conversation, click "comments" on our Community of Practice Forum.
If you would like to read more about creating a habit around masterful communication, check out our book: Be Quiet, Be Heard: The Paradox of Persuasion.