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Use These 3 Communication Techniques to Get Ahead


You need to communicate in order to get what you want, whether it’s a raise, a promotion, or inclusion on a team or project. Psychology offers proven communication and persuasion techniques that can increase your chances of achieving your career goals. Here’s how.

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(Photo Credit: stockmonkeys/Flickr)

1. Reciprocity

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The Rule of Reciprocity simply states that we feel obligated to repay our debts. If you do me a favor, I will feel obligated to do you a favor when you ask.

Many articles on reciprocity are written for salespeople and discuss how to use this rule to their advantage. Most of the other articles are geared toward a consumer audience, and warn people to resist the temptation to feel obligated to help a salesperson.

However, you can use this human dynamic to your advantage at work even if you are not in sales. If somebody needs coverage one day, step up to the plate and help him out. In return, you may find yourself considered “one of us.” You may also be able to get help someday when you need it.

You can benefit from the Rule of Reciprocity in your relationship with your boss. If you are willing and able to take on projects and help out your boss, you may be the one considered for raise or promotion.

2. Commitments

People prefer not to break their commitments. In communication, remind others at appropriate times what they said or promised. If your boss said she would renew your salary negotiations in three months, go ahead and politely remind her after two months and three weeks have passed. Do so in a non-demanding way — for example, by saying, “I remember you said we would discuss my salary around November. It is almost time. Are you able to make an appointment with me?” Some people might make the mistake of not saying anything, and if your boss is busy she might not get to it on her own, or she might forget.

3. Verbatim Effect

The “gist” of what we hear is more easily remembered than the actual wording. This is extremely important in workplace communication. The more you talk, the less people remember about what you actually said. People are more likely to remember key points.

Remember this when you are meeting with people or giving presentations. Keep what you say direct and to the point. Whether you want a promotion, a vacation, or to be included on a specific team project, present your reasons as sound bites that pack information into shorter sentences. The better your boss remembers what you want, the more likely you are to get it.

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