How To Be Confident In Critical Conversations
Whether you're asking for a job, addressing a customer or resolving a conflict between coworkers, being confident in your conversation is essential. If at any point you don't come across confidently, you give your power away by default and lessen your chances for a favorable outcome. This happens because the person on the other end of the conversation can sense your confidence level and will seize the advantage.
In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we're sharing these key tips from business coach and corporate trainer, Kaylene Mathews, for being confident in those critical conversations. The outcome could mean an increase in salary or more business from a customer.
1. Know what you want. Before you ever enter the room or pick up the phone, have clarity on the outcome you want to achieve. If you are anticipating a negative discussion, then the immediate goal should be to come to a resolution that is agreeable for all parties. Focusing on the desired outcome keeps the conversation on track and free from diversions.
2. Know why you want it. If you're not clear on your why, you risk being swept away by someone else's argument or reasoning. When you know your why, you're able to stand firm. You also have a clear understanding of your own thought processes so you can keep a clear mind.
3. Know what you don't want. There are times when you just may not be sure exactly what you want, especially when the situation is complicated. That's okay too. In those cases, knowing what you don't want can be just as important as knowing what you do want. Sometimes by process of elimination, the future reveals itself.
4. Find common ground. Find a mutually beneficial interest or starting point to begin. Many times, people want the same outcome, they just don't agree, yet, on how to achieve it. Make sure you take the time to understand the perspective of who you're working with to uncover commonalities.
5. Communicate clearly but be nice about it. Don't be afraid to ask for what you want. Assume the best of the person you're communicating with and speak to their best intentions. You can say the same thing many ways, so always choose to be nice. However, make sure to be clear in your communication. Don't leave room for interpretation because not everyone interprets the same meaning and that can lead to further miscommunication. Some people just don't get it, so help them.
6. Agree on solutions. Always, always, always clearly state the solution and make sure everyone agrees. It's the only way to productively move forward. Make no assumptions—none. State it and agree to it, so everyone knows their role and what's expected.
7. Make it easy to act. How do we make this work? What happens next? Don't assume everyone knows what they are supposed to do. Make it clear and make it simple.
Source: Kaylene Mathews is a business coach, corporate trainer, author and speaker. She works with groups and individuals on improving effective communications with teams, goal-setting, professional development and building leadership skills.