I’m lucky to have a big, diverse family and getting together is fun but it’s not always easy. For many of us, Christmas is a time when we’re around people we love very much but don’t see every day. Getting the maximum enjoyment out of it, while avoiding the pitfalls of ineffective communication is my ultimate target on the big day.
With that in mind, I’ve drawn together some advice to help you grow relationships and build your reputation among your family and friends. It’s what we do every day for businesses, but it works on a personal level too.
1. Be clear on what you want. Chances are you want to build memories to last a lifetime, avoid bust-ups and really enjoy spending time with loved ones. If you keep what you want at the very front of your mind, it will help you avoid petty communication pitfalls that could lead to a less special day.
2. Listen. This is where you will get a richness of experience. Listen, ask questions, show interest. All of this intel is not only lovely to extract but will help you out if you need to manage a clash of wills later in the day.
3. Understand your audience. You already know quite a bit about them so think about what matters most to them and what the risks are when certain personalities come together. It’s your job as a communicator to manage those risks – and you can do it!
4. Tailor your message. There are ways of saying things. Think before you speak and appeal to everything you know about your audience. Navigate your way seamlessly through unwanted vegetables, refusing another glass of wine and sugar-high children by holding on tight to those objectives and speaking to people in a language they understand and appreciate.
Wishing you all a very merry and successful Christmas