Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!
This week’s focus: effective communication
Some people aren’t great at “winging it” in calls and meetings. The inability to be succinct negatively impacts the perception of a person’s value-add with peers and senior leadership. How can a person improve?
Take a subject and define bullet (or talking) points appropriate for the meeting or call. Then, speak to issues around those talking points as you have a dialog with others. Be crisp. Take a breath before you respond. Make sure you respond to the question you are asked and do so crisply and succinctly.
When somebody asks you a question, your best response is to offer there are 2 or 3 things the person needs to know about _____. The bullet points you create help you frame your response. Long, meandering discourses lack clarity and leave listeners wondering what the point is.
You may benefit by recording your side of the conversations and listening to this later. Ask what is the take-home value in what you’ve just communicated? Were you crisp? Or, were you just spewing words?
If you have a presentation to deliver, put together a crisp PowerPoint. Don’t try to “wing it” on a complex issue. Don’t accede to the pressure of the crowd to respond immediately with no time to prepare a response. Make sure you understand what success looks like–what do you have to do to meet the requirements. It’s okay to say “I need some time to prepare a thoughtful response in light of all the options available.”
Less is more. “Less” is also harder to do. When you are able to be more succinct, it will help you and the teams you collaborate with thrive.
Thought for the week:
Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com
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