Far too much management time is spent on what I call “silly conflict” or misunderstandings that are a waste of time and a source of frustration and stress for managers. Misunderstandings are usually the result of the way we communicate.
So how do you avoid wasting precious time on silly conflict? The key is becoming a better communicator. Specifically, you need to focus on speaking clearly and persuasively. When I say clearly, I mean framing clear messages that are simple and unambiguous.
When you speak with clarity people understand what you want and why you want it. They understand what’s motivating you, what your concerns are and what your expectations are. They understand your thoughts, values and assumptions. In short, they understand how you see the world.
Here are six things you can do to speak with greater clarity and save time:
- Communicate exactly what it is you want (What you want for the business, personally, from the person you are talking to, for the person you are talking to, for clients / customers, and anyone else in your “system”).
- Outline the key information that you have seen or heard that’s relevant to your decision or request.
- Explain your thoughts, assumptions and expectations so there is no second guessing or inference of bad intent.
- Share the underlying personal and/or organisational values that are driving your thinking.
- Share any past or current actions taken by you that are relevant to the situation and your request / decision.
- Attentively listen to any questions about the above and respectfully answer the same. See my last blog on becoming a consummate listener – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-do-you-become-consummate-listener-mark-rosenberg?trk=pulse_spock-articles
By following these steps you will boost the clarity of your communication and drastically decrease the time you waste on unnecessary misunderstandings.
However, while speaking with clarity goes a long way to reducing misunderstandings, it won’t always ensure you get the outcome you want. You need to frame simple, unambiguous messages persuasively. Being persuasive involves you influencing the other person so that they feel comfortable with your decision and are more inclined to remember what you have said and do what you are asking them to do.
We’ll explore how to be more persuasive next time.
Have a great week.