The power of speaking language of listeners

I often heard about the power of speaking the language of the listeners when I was a kid but I didn't really feel it. I remember the time that made me deeply feel that power when I won the heart of a Spanish lady by a smile and a word 'Si'.

My friend and I went to the enrollment office to register for my Masters in Spain some years ago. They rejected to help us register because we couldn't speak their language, Spanish. I then convinced the staff to let me talk with their manager. The manager also rejected to support us as we didn't speak Spanish. 

I smiled at her with the gratitude that at least she came out to talk to us and I said 'Si'  (meaning Yes) and nodded with everything she spoke.

'Come here, little girl'

She suddenly called me to come over to her. She then started speaking Spanish with me more and I said 'Si' even more. She then realised I only could say 'Si'. She laughed and then helped me and my friend then registered anyway.  She told it was just because of my smile and the Spanish word 'Si' that made her think I had a good attitude and could speak the same language - Spanish - as her. 

I went home and still smiled inside me, thanks to a smile and a word 'Si'. 

Speaking other's language, either their language or the way they speak can create powerful results. 

During my journey of learning about communication, I found 'SOLAR' is a powerful model to help us build rapport with the listeners by using non-verbal communication apart from verbal communication:

  • Squarely face the person
  • Open posture
  • Lean towards the person
  • Eye contact
  • Relax

(Egan, 2002)

What are your tips for effective communication?