It Pays to Talk

Some trainers use actors to provide role plays. We like to give participants hands on experience. The delegates on our Effective Communication workshop on February 23rd provided two fascinating scenarios of how to deal with difficult behaviours. The key learning for them was:

Do more of Avoid
  • Plan and prepare before going into the situation
  • Set expectations or ground rules at the start to define acceptable and unacceptable behaviours
  • Clarify the situation from both sides
  • Examine reasons for the problem
  • Listen actively
  • If the other person is angry, let them get it off their chest
  • Negotiate – so if I do.., then you will …
  • Be sincere and assertive
  • Play back or summarise what has been said
  • Stay calm and speak firmly, but quietly
  • Give praise where you can
  • Ask good questions
  • Give reassurance
  • Look at the benefits of the solution
  • Take time to think about how you feel about the outcome
  • Gain a win-win solution
    • Being in the wrong mind set; e.g. deciding you have lost before starting out
    • Passing the buck
    • Bulldozing your opinion through
    • Throwing out accusations or labelling people
    • Being judgmental
    • Use of ‘but’. ‘Yes, but I think….’
    • Wrong tone of voice – sarcastic, patronising, aggressive, etc.
    • Interrupting the other person
    • Capitulating for the quiet life
    • Making promises you can’t keep
    • Being loud
    • Coming away feeling guilty, frustrated or bad about yourself

    It is always good to hear how learning has been applied to achieve success. One delegate described how, based on our earlier training, she had improved communication with her team by having weekly one-to-ones, making them feel relaxed and comfortable; and by actively listening to them, got open and honest discussion. This has increased sharing of information, resolved issues before they occur; and improved working relationships. This in turn has led to increased productivity and job satisfaction, and reduced stress. All of which was achieved by better communication that costs nothing. It pays to talk.

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