Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Never Say Never..... How many times have you said things like “They will never buy into that” or “Management will never support this project” or “they’ll never get a long!” 

 As a facilitator and trainer I hear comments like this all the time in the workplaces of my clients. There are a couple of challenges embedded in sentences like the ones above. First, these type of statements minimize hope and commitment, second, these statements are failure focused instead of success based. 

What if you were to change your language ever so slightly. “They may buy into this if we address....” or “Management could support this project if we approached it ____ way” and “_____ might help them get along”

Your words are important.  Your words shape how others interpret your message at face value (and what they assume the message to realllllly mean).

When I was a mediator in an earlier career, I saw first hand the impact of words (and the implied or assumed meaning behind them).  When you speak clearly, you remove or at least minimize the room for assumptions.

Here are three tips to communicating clearly:

1-      Successes based language.  This means speaking int he affirmative, saying what you do want (not what you don’t want), and including others in the dialogue through words such as “we  or “together” or “you and I”
2-      Speak in sentences and bullets....not in run-on paragraphs. People zone out about every 7-10 seconds unless you are engaging them, Engagement is not just asking questions or saying “what are you r thoughts”. Engagement happens when you use examples, speak with passion, allow the listener time to say with you and catch up (with heavy topics)
Don’t assume they got it. Check in. Ask the other person for his or her thoughts on what you said. Tie the conversation up with a bow, meaning pull it together and identify closure and next steps

Next conversation you have, choose your words to support what you do want, not what you don't want....and see what happens in the reactions of others.

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