It’s time to replay a video I posted a year ago.
Let me know your comments below.
Learning to respond to emotionally charged conversations or misunderstandings in the workplace takes practice, patience and perspective. The key is to balance your assertiveness with constraint so you can walk away feeling good about yourself , while not leaving the other party feeling devastated.
Ask yourself the following questions before blurting out an emotional reaction during a challenging conversation. You just might gain a new perspective.
If you ask yourself these questions before blundering ahead, you’ll discover that some conversations won’t need to happen at all, but don’t make that an excuse for not having the ones that do need to happen.
Thinking about the long term impact allows you to put things into perspective. Perspective goes a long way towards guiding your tone and words, and perhaps changing your intention from hurtful to respectful.
A small shift in your behavior now can go a long way into the future…in a good way.
What’s your thoughts? You can find more information on this topic in my book, Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up. Get it at Amazon.com today.
Improving communication at work has to do with your willingness to change. And–your willingness to give up blaming others for your situation or lack of success.
All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you. ~ WAYNE DYER
Blame moves nothing forward and the only way to improve communication is to move forward. This means you must take ownership of the fact that you must change. Ouch!
If someone is difficult to listen to, change the way you approach your communication with him or her rather than blaming them for being annoying, unclear, high-pitched, repetitive, or whatever you perceive to be the offending behavior. Focus on your intention and listen for a single point you both agree and move the conversation from that point.
If you are turned down for a promotion, rather than placing blame on your boss take a hard look at your work, attitude, communication skills and habits and decide what changes you could make to create a different outcome.
If you are still in a job you hate, rather than blame the economy decide what it is you really want and take the steps necessary to get it. You’ll be surprised how this will improve your overall communication.
It’s easy to blame. It takes the pressure and the spotlight off of you but it serves no one.
Just for today serve yourself–stop blaming and start changing.
Find more tips on improving your communication at work, get a copy of Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up. You can get it today at Amazon.
Resistance to change is a common workplace challenge. Poor communication contributes to the push-back that comes with rolling out new procedures, a change in status, a physical move or launching a new project.
The dissension can come from a single voice or the collective whole.
Try these 5 steps for gaining cooperation:
1. Spell out and communicate both orally and in writing, exactly what the changes are and how they will affect individual positions.
2. If you choose to entertain objections set a time frame and stick to it. A never ending gripe session serves no one.
3. Listen to the emotions and the underlying fears that are often couched in vague complaints such as “this will take too much time.” The fear may be that the employee will have to stay later and miss picking up their child on time.
4. Check your interpretation of the complaints by reflecting back what you have heard.
5. Consider suggestions and set a follow-up date for the outcome. Not all changes have that kind of flexibility but you might be surprised at what can be adjusted for better buy-in.
Employees simply want to be a part of something bigger. Use this opportunity to communicate honestly and create a deeper connection and the odds for cooperation will increase.
Find more tips for communicating effectively at work in my book, Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work – What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up. Buy it at Amazon.com
Active and attentive listening is not always easy to do-but it is critical to success. Poor listeners can damage their reputation and hurt their careers. Today I want to talk a bit about making assumptions vs. really listening.
You might be making assumptions if you answer yes or sometimes to the following questions: Do you frequently finish other people’s sentences? Do you use phrases such as “I already know that” before your have heard a complete sentence?
If you do the message you send is, “I know more than you do, so let me help you out.” This is not only rude (and arrogant) but it will brand you as a know-it-all.
Instead listen patiently, ask clarifying questions, and paraphrase the speaker’s words to ensure you really do comprehend what they are saying and intending. Seek to understand the speaker before making suppositions. This positive behavior will brand you as an excellent communicator.
What do think?
Excerpt from the book Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up. Pick up your copy at Amazon today.
Asking questions can be one of the best ways to enhance a conversation, but the wrong questions can actually hinder conversation. Not all questions are created equal! Open-ended questions are friendlier and more effective than closed-ended questions. They usually start with “What” or “How”.
Here are some examples of how to change closed-ended questions into open-ended questions:
Instead of “Did you like it?” you could ask, “What did you like about it?” or “How did you like it?”
Ever try to get information from a team member or co-worker and received one or two word answers? Get more specific with the questions above.
Instead of “Are you upset?” you could ask “What’s bothering you?” or “Tell me more about how you are feeling?”
This works at home as well as at work.
Instead of “Would you like to do something else?” or you could ask “What would you like to do?” or “What would just make your day?”
Truly an invitation to share!
Instead of “Any questions?” you could ask “What questions do you have?” or “Who has the first question?”
Commit this one to memory!
Using open-ended questions requires effort. However, the effort is well worth it, especially in a tense situation. The next time you are in a tense conversation, make your questions open-ended, and watch the dynamic change. You will have a much better conversation, and the other person will appreciate your communication skills.
Get your copy of Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up – The bonus downloads are chock full of the critical communication answers you’ve been asking about. Get your book here!