Monday, October 16, 2017


At work and in your personal life, you will want to develop rewarding relationships and meaningful friendships with those around you. Establishing such connections will enhance your life and career in America. To accomplish this, remember that good communication is all about people connecting with one another.

A productive workplace depends on colleagues getting along well. An effective team requires each member to convey cooperation. A successful business needs its end-users to feel they can count on honesty and openness from their product- or service-provider.

You must learn to communicate your value by showing you can build good relationships, that you are capable of inspiring cooperation and trust, and that you can be open with others.

How do you do this? Recent Tips have shown how to share more of yourself by avoiding moments of uncomfortable silence, by employing the “ping pong” technique in conversations to keep talk flowing, and sometimes to reveal relevant personal details. In all these ways you demonstrate a willingness to engage with others. (Still, remember early in a relationship to avoid taboo subjects such as politics, religion and sex. And if you tend to be naturally talkative, be aware that Americans may see you as self-absorbed, even selfish or arrogant if you don’t share the conversation and ask questions of others.)

Why is this emphasis on socializing and connecting so important? Why can’t you just be diligent, say what’s essential, and let your work speak for itself? Because only after you have created a sympathetic personal connection can others really hear your message and see what you have to offer.

This opening-up accounts for the common impression that Americans are “friendly.” With gestures and words of social encouragement, native speakers signal that they are approachable and open to everyone who shows a willingness to reciprocate. This kind of surface engagement serves many useful purposes. But over time, it can also develop into deep friendship, an extra bonus for a richer life in America.