The new year is often a time we resolve to do things differently, achieve more or change behaviours. With that in mind, here are a few easy, quick changes you can make that we find can most effectively change conversations and open up possibilities for you within your own Management, Talent and Leadership Development.
Don't rush to offer solutions
We all know the feeling - waiting for someone to stop speaking so we can offer our advice. And it no doubt comes from a good place. "I can't wait to help you out!". However, in doing so we stop listening and possibly miss out on crucial information. Information that could change our solution completely. So this year, wait another few minutes before jumping in. Force yourself to be curious and explore the issues to benefit you by getting more relevant solutions, and benefit the other person who feels heard and included. In summary, "ask one more question". Don't stifle innovation.
Cut out the judgmental language
If you're feeding back to someone, stick to the observable facts without adding in any judgments on top. It doesn't guarantee they'll be no defensive reaction from whoever you're speaking to, but it will significantly reduce the chances. And with no defensive walls put up, they'll hear your message more clearly.
Check your eye contact
Too much eye contact can of course seem intimidating, but more commonly, the opposite is a problem. Eye contact can signal trust - so make sure you're not looking away when delivering the crucial message, whether good or bad. If you look down just as you get to the point, it might be missed or be seen as disingenuous.
Think about each person's motivating factors
When trying to influence anyone's decisions or behaviour, have a think beforehand about what consequences will have most resonance for them. A team player might be influenced more by knowing that others will think badly of them if they continue, or a task-focussed employee might respond more to the idea that they won't finish the project on time if they don't change tack. Finding the most impactful ways to influence is easy to do and makes a huge difference.
So there we go - give these little changes a try and see how your conversations at work can be altered in your favour. Good luck!