Communicating change in and of itself is difficult. Persuading someone to change their mind or take action based on that change is harder still. The goal in explaining that change should be like building software -- so intuitive that users no longer need a Help menu.
A team presentation is labeled a team presentation for good reason: Its parts should comprise a whole. But team presentations all too often sound like a symphony orchestra warming up instrument by instrument. The following tips will help your team create a presentation that's clear.
Leaders think strategically, understand the critical link between focus and clarity, and appreciate the value of time. So fewer and fewer are inclined to let others waste their time. Brevity has become a basic communication skill for professionals. Here are six best practices as a leader:
Good leaders can develop bad habits. With careless phrasing, they can give the impression that others' opinions are invalid. The result? This poor communication may harden into habit, causing good employees to exit, feeling as though their contribution no longer matters.
As I've coached senior leaders in communication skills for the past three decades, I've had opportunity to observe 10 habits that set successful negotiators apart from their less-successful colleagues.
Standing before a crowd and trying to think on your feet under pressure or offering answers off the cuff in a meeting doesn't always represent your best thinking. So what does improve your chances for analytical thinking?
Whether you're developing a speech, preparing for a media interview, meeting with a client, pitching a proposal to your boss, or counseling an underperforming employee -- pick a point. Start there to simplify.
"I just call it like I see it." "I'm not a touchy-feely person." "I don't beat around the bush; I just let the chips fall where they may." Such comments frequently escape from the lips of sharp-shooters, who haven't learned the difference between direct communication and bluntness.
We are at our best with those random acts of kindness to strangers. Coworkers and family members don't fare so well. The reasons vary: We take them for granted and think they'll love us anyway. Or maybe familiarity breeds irritability.
When a sale stalls or a customer leaves for the competition, average sales professionals look outward for a "reason." Superstars look themselves in the mirror and ask, "Is THAT the best I can do?" They course correct immediately.
After the shock value wears off, repeated use becomes boring. Such repetitions become as irritating as other word fillers you often hear speakers use: "Uh." "Okay?" Hmmm." "Right?" "You follow me?" "You know what I mean?" "Been there, done that."
With the pressures of leadership, you have a choice -- to get upset or to get a laugh. Getting upset boosts your blood pressure; laughing and a lighthearted culture can boost your productivity and your influence.
When coworkers are caught in conflict, do you know how to re-open the lines of communication without getting trapped in the fallout? Do you care--or do you just stay clear? As a leader, here's what you can do to help minimize the grumbling, reduce the stress, and resolve the issue:
Dumb salespeople drag around tricks that used to work years ago: Remember the puppy-dog close? The forced two-option close? Smart salespeople communicate clearly, act authentically, and appreciate their customers sincerely.
Rather than the pay-off of praise from the finished project, people feed on the payoff from promises of what's to come. That makes executing the actual plans much less exciting--and much less likely to get done.
When people decide to disregard their moral compass as the official business handbook, they begin to make up the rules as they go. Anything can happen, and the situation frequently proves to be a source of conflict.