Ever feel like the person you’re speaking with is having an entirely different conversation than you? It happens more often than you think.
My client, for example, finally obtained a lunch meeting with a prospective business partner who could further her brand. She showed up with the intention of closing the deal, while he showed up hoping to build a rapport with her. In the end, they were having two entirely different conversations. Neither of them got what they came for and the deal fell apart.
It can be very frustrating for both parties if their agendas are not in alignment. However, different types of business conversations are important and useful as long as you understand the purpose of the exchange.
Here are three steps YOU can take to make sure you all are on the same page.
Step 1: Set your intention. Decide ahead of time want to accomplish and what type of conversation is best. There are three different types:
Step 2: Declare this intention up front. Say at the beginning what you hope to accomplish. Even if is at lunch or a networking event.
“I am so glad that we have this opportunity to get to know one another a little bit more. Let’s spend our time together sharing ideas and we can follow up later what our collaboration might look like. (Relationship)
Step 3: Request Sign-off or Renegotiate. Ask the other person if the goal is mutual. If it is, then you are clear to move forward. If not, there’s middle ground you can reach.
“Yes, I’d love to know more about you. (Relationship) But, I’d also like to layout the initial framework of how we can work together. (Action)
These three steps can help you build stronger relationships and mutually beneficial transactions. Communication is so important for business. Remember them the next time you are speaking to a respective client or potential business partnership. An easy way to do that is to remember IDS: Identify, Declare & Sign-off.
For more ideas and tips on powerful communication at work and with clients, check out Everyday Celebrity.
Are your employees, vendors and/or business associates adequately fulfilling your requests? If not, the problem could be how you are asking them.
There are seven components to effective requests. Four of them are fairly obvious:
1. The Requestor – the person giving the request (you)
2. The Receiver – the person the request is being made of
3. The Action – the request itself
4. Deadline – when you need the request fulfilled by
But, that’s only half the story.
Even the most experienced executives often overlook the other three components of effective requests:
5. Conditions of Satisfaction
6. Background of Shared Obviousness
Here is a brief explanation of each:
Conditions of Satisfaction details exactly what constitutes satisfactory accomplishment of the task. It clarifies specifically what you need and want.
Background of Shared Obviousness assures that both the requester and receiver have a mutual understanding of the task and the resources available or needed to accomplish it.
Competence assumes that the receiver has the skills and/or abilities to complete the task to the requestor’s satisfaction. Sometimes, we generalize or profile that a particular employee is an appropriate fit for a task without making sure he or she can do it.
Quite often I hear from executives, “Well, they (the receivers) should know what I want.” Hmm… does that mean mind reading is one of the job requirements? In the end, you (the requestor) are the individual determining the desired outcome. You are also the one who can mitigate confusion and disappointment.
Take a look at these two requests.
Both are for the same task. Which one sounds familiar? To some, the second option may seem pushy, but the specifics actually help lay the foundation for better dialogue and minimize resentment.
You can be a better boss, a more powerful executive, or an impactful CEO by improving your communication skills. The next time you need to ask something of someone, take a look at the 7 components above and see if you are hitting the mark.
Note: This breakdown of requests comes from my learning and training at Newfield Network and from the book, Language and the Pursuit of Happiness by Chalmers Brothers. Please check them out for more information.
For more communication skills and ideas on how to create powerful presence at work and with clients, check out Everyday Celebrity.
I was having lunch with a potential client and as I described what I do, she stopped me, smiled and said, “You’re a teacher.”
Wow, I thought to myself, that’s a very cool perspective. How am I a teacher?
The answer: I teach people how to craft messages and express them in an authentic way. I do this with executives, on-air talent and experts who are preparing for press appearances, speaking engagements and other events.
Then, I thought, do we all teach? The answer: YES.
You, me, all us of constantly teach others - our co-workers, loved ones and friends – about who we are. We do this through our daily communication and interaction with them. We tell others what to expect from us and how to treat us. We communicate our convictions and beliefs, our flexibility and/or lack there of, and our personal thought processes through everyday exchanges. We teach through our words, actions and emotions.
WORDS. You choose how and what to share with others. Take a moment to consider phrases that clearly articulate what you are thinking.
ACTIONS. You are in charge of your behavior. Be clear about your intention before you react to a situation.
EMOTIONS. You determine how to be present in any given situation and express or repress your excitement, disappointment or indifference.
Those you interact and communicate with on a regular basis have learned what to expect from you: whether or not you will engage in productive dialogue or get angry when challenged on an issue; if you will contribute in a meeting or be a note taker; or how you might respond to a direct request. Consider your words, actions and emotions, and honestly ask yourself, "What am I teaching others about me?"
More information, anecdotes, and exercises on practicing effective communication and the art of authentic self-promotion are found in Everyday Celebrity.
"I saw your post on Facebook.” I remember the first time my dad said it. I half smiled and thought to myself, "Why did I ever accept his friend request? Quick, I need to create a parent filter.” And then he continued to do it... on the phone, in person, at family dinners, everywhere. Why?
The answer: my dad wanted a connection. The old man, as I often refer to him, was reminding this communication expert to actually practice the essentials of communication. This is done through information and connection.
They are both needed for effective personal and professional communication. These two elements allow us to develop meaningful conversations, be direct and personal, and share opposing opinions without creating conflict. Yet, often we rely on information as our only objective.
I had fallen into the information trap. I had become a personal broadcaster: a mere content provider of information. Connection was lacking.
Sound familiar? Don’t despair. Here are a few thoughts on how we can all create better connection with one another online and off.
Via social media:
And of course, as in the case of my dad, share your feelings when asked about some sort of information, experience or event that you readily share online or in person. Our effort to connect with one another may take an extra step, but the effort will is well worth the enhanced communication.
Check out my book, The Everyday Celebrity, for more communication tips!
“And the award goes to… “ I fondly remember my early career working the red carpets and pressrooms of award shows as an entertainment news producer. There was excitement, anxiety, and nerves as we prepared and worked for hours just to get the right sound bite from a star.
What is a sound bite? It is a brief stand-alone statement that effectively expresses a complete feeling, thought or idea. Often it is given in response to or in anticipation of a question. And it needs to be done quickly.
Trying to get the right sound bite is one thing. Actually having to deliver it is another. Imagine being the celebrity, facing a frenzy of feelings, “What should I say?” How will I look? What if I mess up?”
You may not realize it, but you are put in situations to deliver your own sound bites in many areas of your life. At work you share ideas in meetings, provide phone updates to clients, or report earnings to investors. In your personal life, you may want to make a good impression in an interview or need to divide household tasks with family members. You may not be in a pressroom, but you need brief, adept responses!
The challenge: how can you be direct, concise, and effective?
The answer: Prepare. Just like a celebrity considers what he or she is going to say in advance, so must you.
Here are some helpful tips to prepare or A.I.M. your sound bites.
Looking at your audience and the desired impact ahead of time allows you to fine-tune sound bites. The next step is being able to do it briefly. Stay tuned for that lesson.
Check out my new book, The Everyday Celebrity, for more communication tips!