If you want to have a fighting chance in the business world, you’d better be an effective communicator.
Here are three steps that will help you operate as a truly effective communicator.
Step #1. Know your outcome. An effective communicator knows her outcome and states it in the positive.
Step #2. Know where you are in the process. Know if you’re moving away from or closer to your outcome. Your questioning and listening skills play an important role in this step for communications awareness.
Step #3. Know your options. Be flexible. If what you’re saying or doing isn’t producing the results you’d planned, you’d better say or do something else.
There you have it, the Effective Communicator Model.
Let’s expand on each of the steps.
Step #1. Know your outcome.
If you don’t know where you’re going, that’s where you’ll end up.
Are you clear on the outcome of your communication? What do you want to accomplish? When you go into a negotiation, a sales call or a client meeting, are you clear on your outcome?
Make sure you state your outcome in the positive. We live in a culture that thrives on negative outcomes. We know what we don’t want and frame our outcomes accordingly.
What outcome do you want from your negotiation? Do you want to avoid overpaying for the project? The desire to avoid overpaying for the project is an example of an outcome stated in the negative.
Here’s how this outcome might sound when stated in the positive. “I will negotiate the best possible price for the project and I will stay within budget.”
Work on creating outcomes that are clear, specific and positive.
Step #2. Know where you are in the process.
Become aware of as much information as you can. This is where measurement and testing can provide you with valuable clues. You must have some measuring strategy in place. How else will you determine if your communication or action is producing the desired outcome?
Here’s an idea for a simple measuring strategy. Create your own checklist (kind of like a shopping-list for success) before you begin your communication or take an action.
Step #3. Know your options.
Be Flexible. If what you’re doing isn’t producing your desired outcome, you need to do something else.
Requisite Variety is a term born out of Neuro Linguistics Programming, NLP for short. The theory of Requisite Variety states that the communicator that has access to the greatest number of communications options will usually control the communication.
Science uses the same assumption when it comes to experimentation. Scientists know what they want an experiment to produce. They measure their results and know whether or not it worked. If the experiment works, great, if not, they utilize different options as the basis for their next attempt at success. Come to think of it, that approach would be really helpful in your business networking, client meetings, sales calls, marketing, or in any number of your business activities.
Success Tip – Know your outcome. All three steps of the Effective Communicator Model are important, but if you’re really clear on your outcomes and you state them in the positive, you’ll find yourself reaching those outcomes more easily and more often.
Copyright 2006 Ike Krieger
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