Last week we celebrated our National Holiday, “St Patricks Day,” normally a day the world turns green – from the waterfall outside the White House to the Great Wall of China.
So the question is – can we learn anything from the Irish?
Surprisingly I believe so, particularly in the communication field!
1. The Irish love to laugh….even at themselves.
We are known for our sense of humour. Humour/fun is a great rapport tool and fantastic in negotiations with one big if! When people are happy they are more likely to deal, so an injection of humour as an icebreaker or tension reliever can work. So what’s the if?
If you are funny!
We have all had to share airtime with the “Comedian” who just isn’t funny – more a deal breaker than maker! So find out from your closest and most constructive peer group – are you funny!
Of course having fun is great for your general wellbeing. Even laughing at your watch for one minute, floods your nervous system with the pleasure chemical endorphins. A very cheap high with no side effects.
And finally Irish people have a great ability to laugh at themselves – one could argue a mixture of humility and self esteem issues! Funnily enough the “sad story” seems to endear rather than alienate.
2. Rapport comes naturally.
It is rare the Irish person that can’t relate to others with a minimum of difficulty.
No matter where I have travelled from Monaco to Macau, most people know the Irish as friendly, warm approachable people. Interpersonal Intelligence, the ability to relate to others is the one of the most highly paid intelligence in the world far exceeding linguistic intelligence in its effect on your bottom line.
You can see why Ireland attracts many customer services and marketing operations to it shores. Teaching English as a foreign language is also buoyant where students can learn the language while simultaneously enjoying the warmth and friendliness of the host country.
3. Storytelling is in their DNA.
Communicating in an attention deficit society is a major challenge. One way to transcend same is to tell stories. Stories have the ability to bypass a person’s conscious filtering system and hit the spot as it were! Recent research from Princeton University highlighted the power of the personal story – its synchs/couples the teller and receivers brains.
Years ago in Ireland in the pre-television era the norm was for people to sit around the fire and exchange stories. These people were call Seanchai (the Irish for storytellers.) Today Ireland is more an Island of “Storytellers and Talkers” than “Saints and Scholars.”
So the message is clear…embrace the spirit of the Irish as you climb your personal or corporate ladder.
…May the Road rise with you.