Volume 107, January 2011: Communication: Greeting with Your Heart

Keyzine: An E-zine for Leaders about the People Side of Business

This is a monthly electronic magazine for anyone who wants to be a better leader, coach, facilitator, or simply, to tune up their people skills. It is a complimentary publication, devoted to the next evolution of Quality Thinking.

Publisher: © Key Associates, LLC, 2011 ISSN # 1545-8873

“Language most shows a man; speak that I may see you.” — Ben Johnson, Explorata

I came upon a fabulous film, featuring Nicholas Boothman, titled “How to Connect in Healthcare in 90 Seconds or Less.” This minute and a half is the length of time you have to create trust and make a connection with other people. As a former photographer, his teaching included the following tips:

  • Choose the right attitude (welcoming, empathic, curious, resourceful).
  • Send the right signals (look them in the eye, point your heart, mirror them).
  • Get them talking, keep them talking (make a short statement, follow with an open question, give them feedback).

What struck home with me was: point your heart at them. This is the beginning of a true relationship. People want to affiliate and trust you and be real with you.

In my experience, you first must be authentic (truthful). The Aboriginal people are said to be able to communicate without language, because they tell no lies. People sense a fake, and feel your intentions. Conversations from the heart are liberating, because they remove the weight of disguise.

When you point your heart, you are looking for the good in people. You must be on their level and holding no judgments about them. Most of the feedback people have gotten in life is negative or trivial. See the good in them and bounce back what you notice about them in your communication (this is my Grandmother’s teaching). Ask open questions. Pull on their end of the rope. Confer respect by giving them your deepest listening. Align yourself with the intention to communicate (Erhard Seminars Training, Inc.). The art/science of Syntonics describes mirroring or being physically like the other.

In my conflict management work, we use pacing or matching the other in tone of voice, speed of language, breathing, eye contact (too much is threatening, too little is not acknowledging them), standing or sitting on the same level. You are in emotional equilibrium with them and responsive to the environment, making subtle changes, as you learn more about them.

In this way, you can lead and let lead; it is a dance.

Practice Point

Practice greeting people with your heart. When you say, “Good Morning,” mean it. When you ask how they are today, listen for the full answer. Stand in the light and see them in it, as well.


Buy MK’s latest book!