LESSONS FROM A COMMUNICATIONS EXPERT
As we gallop towards the end of the year, dealing with Christmas celebrations, deadlines, family commitments and so on, it is natural that our minds turn backwards towards the lesson we’ve learnt as we try to keep it together until the Christmas break!
This week I’ve been thinking a lot about a seminar the team and I attended at which the guest speaker was Allan Pease. Allan and his wife Barbara are two of the world’s foremost body language experts and share decades of combined study and experience. Their combined 18 book titles span subjects from business communication and negotiation to relationships and as international communication authors, they frequently present both private and public workshops and seminars to the world’s leading (and up-and-coming) professionals.
What really struck me, and is why I chose this subject to blog about this week, is how, looking back, each member of the team took something different away from the experience.
“The concept that really stayed in my mind from Allan’s presentation is actually something that I tell my clients on a regular basis and that is to keep your communication positive. For example, instead of saying to your clients: ‘I’m running 15 minutes late’ use: ‘I’m running 15 minutes behind schedule’. It is amazing that by changing a few words in a sentence you deliver a completely different message.”
“I think the most important thing that I learnt from Allan Pease comes from his personal battle with cancer. I was astonished that Allan was able to overcome his illness through the power of positive thinking. He simply decided that he would beat the odds and be one of the small percentage of the population who survives. Allan set a goal of living to 90 years of age. He wrote his goal down by getting it tattooed on his backside! The tattoo reads ‘Best before 15th August 2040?’ He got the idea from the use by dates on food. That was truly inspiring.”
“I loved Allan’s formula for success which was to work out what you want to do, then how you can accomplish it will become clear. And when setting goals working out WHAT your goal is, is the most important part of the process not the HOW. Allan said that we should WRITE A GOAL DOWN and commit to it then suddenly the hows begin to appear. WHAT —–> HOW ——-> RESULTS.”
“I really enjoyed Allan’s highlights from Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps. I was alternately laughing, crying and nodding my head in agreement. I think it’s something that everyone in a relationship needs to know. This is one of my favourite quotes from the book:
‘Women criticise men for being insensitive, uncaring, not listening, not being warm and compassionate, not talking, not giving enough love, not being committed to relationships, wanting to have sex rather than make love, turning the temperature down, and leaving the toilet seat up. Men criticise women about their driving, for not being able to read street directories, for turning maps upside down, for their lack of a sense of direction, for talking too much without getting to the point, for not initiating sex often enough, turning the temperature up, and for leaving the toilet seat down. Men can never find a pair of socks but their CDs are in alphabetical order. Women can always find the missing set of car keys, but rarely the most direct route to their destination. Men think they’re the most sensible sex. Women know they are.’”
This highlights for me how different concepts can strike different people as important and goes a long way to underlining the fact that just because you think something is important, doesn’t mean that everyone else does!
At this time of year everyone is under the pump. We’re all spread too thin and at times like this our communications skills can fall by the wayside. But, as I remind my clients, success requires excellent communication all the time. So, if something is important for the business don’t assume that everyone gets the same thing from a discussion that you do.
Make sure company priorities are identified and acted upon – first things first – and any issues are communicated immediately. This gives you a great platform from which to spring (not fall) into 2016. Good luck and enjoy those Christmas parties!