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Posts Tagged ‘Communication’

Watch Your Words… Four Guidelines

We have all heard that our words can either lift someone or belittle someone.  Our words can encourage and coach or deflate and defame others.  A famous World War II poster read, “Careless words cost lives.”   This message is still true today.   Here are four guidelines to follow before repeating something you have heard.

How to Manage Fast Changing Times

One of the quickest questions to come up (no pun intended) during planning sessions or personal coaching sessions is – How do I/we manage this in a Fast Changing Environment? Well, this is a good question and will occur more often since fast-changing environments is becoming the norm. Increasingly change is becoming the number focal point for every organization and every leader.

These dynamic times require dynamic solutions including processes, people, systems and culture (a leader driven factor). The key is to develop an attitude that change is good for us. The more effective we are at developing a sense of optimistism in responding to the situations, thinking in terms of opportunities rather than threats.

Here is a list of key elements or how to’s to increase the success rate for change…

Lose the WHY Word When Talking to Others

I am amazed that people use the “Why” word so often while talking with others. And, then get offended when the conversation becomes emotional driven. Stop using the why word – today. In the only time you can use this word is when you are talking to yourself.

What’s wrong with using WHY? The reason is simple. When asked “why” people feel they must justify their answer. This justification usually becomes defensive in nature since they are expecting you to tell them the reasons their answer is wrong! This places the situation in an emotional state and objectivity leaves the building.

Before using the why word, think about what you really want to know. Then ask a question that leads to the results that you want. Better starting terms to a question include: What reasons lead you to this decision? What factors were involved in this decision? When you made this decision, did you consider this…?

The reason the why word has become a problem is due to parents tendency to ask their kids during heated discussions – Why did you do this? Thus the start of being told what a bad decision this was. And the cycle is started. Whenever others use the why word – we immediately begin to justify our response.

Take time to think about what you doing and what outcome you want from your communication with others. It will make a difference. Show respect for the other person and they will show respect back. Think equals or in psychological terms – adult to adult – it makes a difference.

Coaching Performance Improvement

One of the major challenges for leaders is how to develop their people. Development is all about improvement in someone’s performance. Unfortunately, most leaders don’t know how to do this core function of leadership. Fortunately, it is easy to learn – given a desire to coach and improve others.

Coaching is a key skill for leaders and the sooner they learn how to coach, the fastest their people will grow into high performers. In order to coach others you will need to do the following:

The Power of Shared Interest on Relationships

The past two days we spent time in Baton Rouge and discovered an interesting thing about relationships – even with complete strangers! The event was the Bayou Bash and the common link was LSU football. (You will remember that I used college football analogies in my B2B sales book – Three Games of Selling.)

We met several people who took us into their network of people – just because we have a common interest in the LSU football team. Instant friendships and bonding took place. Information and stories were shared and the bond of friendship became strong.

Now, in the world of business, image how great it would be if people would find a common interest (like helping each other). Sharing of information in an open and honest fashion would open doors that currently seem unopenable and locked. With this freedom of information flow, ideas and solutions to issues would have an opportunity to grow.

There are some organizations or really – people within the organizations – that find this approach to be exciting and productive. So, when confronted with an opportunity to develop a new relationship – find a common link of interest and discuss it. You will find out if a true relationship can be developed during this short exchange. If you feel comfortable, then open up about your issues and ask for suggestions. Your life may change for the better.

Mismatcher’s Can Be See as Troublesome

Did you see Saturday’s comic section and the Dilbert strip in particular? I was thinking how funny it was and then I realized that most people would not understand the deeper meaning. Okay, let me explain. This is all about the human operating system and was uncovered by the team of Bandler and Grinder. They named the technology Neuro-Linguistic-Programming or NLP.

NLP shows how the brain works and how people use certain triggers in their everyday lives – including such basic functions as communication, interaction with others, decision making and problem solving. In some European countries this system is being used in all departments of corporates to improve communication and understand decision making at all levels – not to mention just plain old personal development.

Now about the Dilbert cartoon this weekend and particularly the statement in the next to last frame about “…manipulating the puppet strings…” which can be misunderstood. It is true if a person does not understand NLP or even basic behavioral styles – then they can be manipulated by others. The key is always the intent of the other person. Personally, I have been using both NLP techniques and behavioral style factors for years. Not to manipulate others… because my intent is to gain rapport and trust, which leads to open and objective dialogue with others. When I match the other person’s style and preferences, the barriers or natural resistance to open dialogue is welcome.

Back to the Comic strip story line, the punchline was based upon people understanding the match – mismatch differences. First, the matchers look for common factors to connect with making other matchers feel good. Matchers look for sameness in describing things and can have some issues with problem solving – since they do not automatically see problems or differences from the norm – they are looking for sameness.

Second, the mismatchers on the other hand can be seen as real problem people. They are not actually the “bad” person they get labeled as by others. Their issue is their brain looks for differences, mismatches or exceptions to the rule. They are mentally conditioned to see the exception or different issue – in every situation, statement or person. This people are usually labeled as troublesome or difficult to get along with by others (the matchers!). Actually, these people are great problem solvers and can isolate an problem or exception immediately.

Finally, learn to recognize the traits of people. Are they matchers or mismatchers? This will give you a hugh advantage in understanding the actions of others – and how to gain rapport with people. If you are pure matcher or pure mismatcher, then the ability to flex to others becomes more difficult. Yet, it can be done if you use discipline in your communication and choose to do the right thing in your communication with others.

Understanding the human operating system is one of the systems that we use in our coaching process for leaders and sales people. We explain the fundamentals and model the use of the system in the coaching process. If you want to learn how to gain rapport with anyone, build trust with your team (or customers), and be able to communicate effectively with everyone – call us today and learn how to use this process.