Communicate with Impact

Like listening, we think that just because we open our mouths and words fall out that we know how to communicate. 

 

We know how to get our message across.  As a facilitator, take it from me – I’m not seeing it.  Being able to speak so someone actually hears and is moved by what you’re saying is another level entirely.

To lift your communication game, I have a few ideas for you to try:

 

ONE: Be aware of the listener’s communication style in advance in order to adjust.

Do they prefer facts and data mainly, or emotion?  Do they like lots of detail or big picture?  Do they want to dive in and get to the point or do they prefer to speak about personal stuff first?  Knowing how your listener prefers to communicate is a tricky one – especially if you’ve not communicated with them before.  Asking a question at the start of the conversation can give you some hints here: “how has your week/day/morning/afternoon been? “  How they respond will tell you what to do next.  Being able to adjust quickly is the key.  Do the work to grow your communication flexibility.

 

TWO: Are you aware of the context? Has anything happened in the listener’s world to affect their level of reception to your message?

The above question will help here too, but if you can see your listener, clock their body language to get a fuller understanding.  If you’re on the phone, listen for their breathing and tone to sense the emotion.

 

THREE: Be clear about what outcome you want to convey during the conversation and think about the best way to get there.

Knowing your listener, what’s the best way to achieve your outcome?  Which questions will help the listener to think differently, to proffer information that will progress your conversation?  What do you need to be aware of?  Taking time to consider the best approach and plan it out enables you to rehearse in your mind that conversation, and enables you to be more present as you’re not trying to think of the questions to ask next – you’ve already done that.

 

FOUR: Be present

If you want your listener to be present, then so must you be. Give them all of your attention.  Refer to your notes and be present to what’s going on for them.  Be there with your senses and an open heart. 

 

FIVE: If you’re not sure your message is being well received stop and find out with curiosity.

When you’ve conveyed your message but there’s a miscommunication for whatever reason don’t simply double down on getting your message across.  I’m ashamed to say I’ve done this and of course it never goes well!  Stop talking.  Instead, seek to understand.  What is happening here?  Sometimes it’s not what we say but how we say it that prevents our message from being heard.  Check in with empathy and curiosity: “I’ve noticed that maybe we’ve lost our thread a bit here.  Where did I lose you?”  “I get the feeling I’ve said something that’s affected our connection: I’m so sorry.  Help me understand.”  Get the connection back.  Without it, your message has no hope.

 

Effective communication is the responsibility of both parties.  When both people come together with an intention to deepen understanding, there’s a willingness to make sure that happens.

 

View our other posts

Have the conversation

The other day I had the privilege of witnessing a sales leader sharing a story with newer sales leaders about a difficult conversation he had early on in his career.    He was 3 weeks into the leaders role and the person he needed to “have the conversation” with...

Belief: what to do when your team doesn’t have it

You may already know that I work with a number of sales teams across a range of industries and regions.  From time to time I come across teams that don’t believe in either their product/service or that their target is possible to achieve.  It might be understandable. ...

When Fatigue Sets In

The great thing about 2020 is that it’s over.  Yes there are the echoes of lockdowns (sometimes actual ones), yes there are still people driving in their own cars wearing masks and yes there are still news reports of COVID lurking in waste water threatening to jump...

What the world needs now, is Trust, sweet Trust

The word “sales” can bring about associations with anything but trust.    For many of us, we’re swift to separate out the activities of selling and consulting, of providing service and sales, of connection and sales.  And here lies the opportunity for B2B sales...

Communicate with Impact

Like listening, we think that just because we open our mouths and words fall out that we know how to communicate.    We know how to get our message across.  As a facilitator, take it from me – I’m not seeing it.  Being able to speak so someone actually hears and...

Energy flows where intention goes

I’m not one for denying reality.    When it comes to a healthy emotional and mental outlook, accepting reality is a key component.  And as I write this, Victorian small business, in particular, has been assaulted with another lockdown on a weekend that many in...

The Year of Recovery

2020…COVID.  Lockdowns…   Sorry, I don’t mean to be triggering…! But around April last year organisations pretty quickly realised that in such an “unprecendented” year it would be unfair to expect their sales teams to achieve original sales targets.  In fact,...

If you think there’s more, there probably is…

What a revelation!? If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably allowed yourself at times to entertain the notion that there is more possibility for you….even if you don’t know right now how to access it.  More roles, more revenue, more market share, more customers,...

Pressure reveals mindset

Getting back into a rhythm of market contact this year is going to be interesting to say the least.    In some sectors of the market, in person meetings are still rare indeed.  In others, market contact is all about being respectful of time which seems to be even...

I don’t “sell”

Every now and then I come across professionals who say things to me like:   “I’m not in sales.” “I’m not a salesperson.”  “Selling leaves me cold”   When I ask about their roles, it turns out that while they’re “not in sales”, they’re responsible for :...