In 2018, you matter, and...it may be harder than ever to “be heard and understood.”We all want 2018 to be our “best year ever!” professionally and personally.
Fortunately, this new year looks like it offers great potential for record-setting successes.
Yet, if your job description includes words like “communicate,” “lead,” “manage,” “sell,” “influence,” or “collaborate,” this moment in time presents serious hindrances for you.
Why more difficult now?Just observe the world of work as best you can—inside and outside of your company.
Mindshare is under siege.The work arena is increasingly frantic, fraught with change, time crushed, personally stressful, interruptive, disrupted, uncertain, often scary, and sometimes dangerous.
At the same time, the atmosphere can seem strangely exciting and potentially a highly rewarding place to grow and advance—maybe. Uncertainty prevails.
Every day, you will be required to launch your verbal and digital communications into that dense mix of confounding confluences and prove your relevance immediately.
No easy job anytime. Very hard right now.
The task of most important communicators is to:
- Get yourself heard.
- Get your ideas understood.
- Get your ideas accepted.
- Get your ideas supported and acted upon by others.
With the intense competition for mindshare today, the task is tougher than ever to get that "stubborn string" of four consecutive results and next steps started and sustained.
Attention spans are heading toward tiny, and “Yes” is hard to find.In 2018, at the exact moment you need to communicate, your intended receivers predictably may not be ready, willing, or eager for you and your ideas to arrive, no matter who you are.
You will need to prove your content’s relevance in a remarkably thin slice of time. . . or be asked to go take a seat in their idea “lobby,” perhaps never to get your turn again.
People to whom you are communicating are rushed and their minds are full.
Most have little discretionary time to invest.
They have no willingness to chase a talker’s mind around the room trying to find relevance in what’s being said.
Many people at work right now have a tendency to say “No” quickly (sometimes almost in knee-jerk fashion) if they can rationalize it. It’s reactive self-defense.
Why do they want to add you to their load?
There are no do-overs.To hear a “Yes” you will need to have formulated clear and compelling ideas, with lots of immediately obvious upside positives regarding things that your listeners really “care about.”
(Hopefully, you’ve found issues that they “deeply” care about.)
Otherwise, your odds are perilously low for getting any agreement from your listeners to any next steps that you propose.
That’s true, even if you believe the idea you offer is potentially the best idea they might hear all year.
Unless they can quickly comprehend obvious and meaningful value to their “care-abouts,” they just won’t let your idea stay in the game long enough for you to prove how great it is.
You see it at your work.
It’s all too common for communicators to drift off of their listeners’ wants and needs into “stuff” and content that the communicators like to hear themselves talk about.
A second chance “do-over” is wishful thinking.
The way forward? It’s vital to understand to be understood.Your best hope for cutting through 2018’s increasing competition for mindshare is:
- Demonstrate immediately that you deeply understand the unique and specific wants and needs of your listeners, then
- Relentlessly wrap everything else you say, in conversations and in presentations, meaningfully around those wants and needs.
Communicators need to THINK clearly, critically, and insightfully before every important communication to understand and put the wants and needs of others into such sharp focus.
That level of thinking will empower you to project a rock-solid understanding of your listeners’ current situation, including the complications and challenges they face and the risk/reward implications of your ideas to them.
Only then, after you have proven that you “get it” about them and their personal and business context, will they be truly open to hearing your position and recommendations on the subject.
Only then, will they lower their resistance to taking the desired actions that you want them to take.
Only then, will they be willing to find the benefits offered by you to be relevant and potentially real.
Practice where it’s safe.Before every communication that matters, get in the habit of practicing with wise feedback to verbalize and perfect your facileness with your content.
(You don’t want to miss this prep step and be forced to “practice in front of your listeners” in prime time. You’ve seen that happen at work, and it’s regularly not pretty.)
Get help to those who need it.In most populations, essential communication skills can be found naturally distributed along a normal curve of competency. Yet under stress, it’s typical for most of us to backslide significantly down the scale from our natural spot.
Fortunately, almost anyone, if they choose to do so, can become consistently more effective at truly BEING HEARD AND UNDERSTOOD, even when they are under stress and duress.
In fact, most people can not only get better, they can get much better and move far up the scale of effectiveness.
There are methods to massively increase your odds of success in 2018 and beyond in increasingly complex communication environments.
As past Mandel training participants reading this blog know, Mandel can provide you and your organization with the essential methods, skills, and tools, including the game-changing Mandel Communications THINKING TOOL.
Please contact us.Please contact us if Mandel can help in any way. Or, if you want to talk with me directly about communication issues of interest to you, don't hesitate to email me.
I and all my Mandel colleagues worldwide wish you, your colleagues, and your organization the greatest of successes in 2018 and beyond.
Ed Musselwhite, CEO
Email: emusselwhite [at] mandel [dot] com
What does the hit on Netflix called The Queen’s Gambit tell us about how to sell in a virtual setting? Actually, something very important.
Before we break down how this show teaches us the key to virtual selling let’s look at the backstory.
If your 2020 user conference plans were impacted by the pandemic, you’re not alone. And if, like many, you’ve chosen to move forward by converting to a virtual conference, you’ll be relying more than ever on your speakers’ skills. Share these 8 tips with your virtual conference speakers to help them prepare to impress.
It happened fast. One day you were meeting with your colleagues at the office. The next day you and everyone you work with are working in remote isolation from home. Whether you’re new to working remotely or an experienced veteran, we all need to raise our virtual collaboration game to not only make this new reality work, but to make it work really well. Read on to discover seven practical, high impact tactics you can implement right now to ensure the success of your virtual meetings.
Customers coming to a user conference aren’t there for the fanfare, they’re there for the expertise. If you’re an expert speaking at a user conference, you’re highly knowledgeable and passionate about your topic, but you might not be an expert at speaking in front of an audience. Here are five practical tips that you can implement right away for any upcoming speaking event.
Learn how making a few smart, yet simple, changes to your email can improve your odds of quickly getting the response you need.
Read the blog and learn how to make your next team offsite your most productive yet.
TED Talks have become a go-to example for how to give an engaging presentation from the big stage. They can be informative, inspiring, and often incredibly entertaining. But is the TED Talk format right for a business presentation delivered in a conference room? Probably not — but the skills used by TED Talk presenters definitely are!
Learn how to identify what goes into a successful TED Talk and how to make those skills work for you in your everyday business presentations.
Learn Mandel’s 3-step model for skillfully responding — not reacting — to tough questions with confidence and ease.
You know your scientists, engineers, and technology experts are the best around. They're proven innovators and solution providers within your organization. Why, then, is presenting to a business audience such a common challenge for technical professionals?
Learn 11 tactics your technical team can use right now to make them more effective and influential communicators for any business decision maker.
Admittedly, I've struggled to find a reliable way to help people reduce their public speaking anxiety, despite years of trying. I’ve advised people to do just about anything I could think of that might help, e.g., breathing, meditation. While I haven't found the thing that works every time for every person, there is one technique that seems to be more effective than most. Even if you've already found something that works well for you, this technique is worth trying out.
- How to deliver impactful, engaging hybrid meetings
- Leading a Virtual Team Means Doing Things Differently
- Are You Really Listening?
- 4 Listening Tips for Improving Your Virtual Meetings
- The Irresistible Power of Stories in Virtual Selling
- The Top Sales Skill for 2021!
- Top Virtual Communication Mistakes – and How to Overcome Them in 2021!
- Tell a Story. Close a Deal. Even on Zoom.
- Throwback: Why Appreciation Matters in Life and at Work
- Tips for Communicating Effectively While Wearing a Mask