Here are tips for a powerful, persuasive and memorable conversations
- Speak with people, not to them. Ask open- ended, non-accusatory questions and make fewer statements. Open-ended questions engage people and invite conversation.
- Speak with people the way that they want to be spoken with.
- Demonstrate unqualified respect. Always show respect for people regardless of their behavior. “Unqualified respect” means that you do not require that people earn the right for you to communicate respectfully with them. Remember that you can treat people with respect and still hold them accountable for their behaviors.
- Speak about what you want rather than what you don’t want. To really make your communication powerful and persuasive, say what you do want people to do rather than what you don’t want people to do.
- Use And more than But. Imagine that you are in a conversation with someone and that you have just shared your opinion with him or her.Compare these two possible responses:
1. “You know, that’s a good point, but ...”
2. “You know, that’s a good point, and ...”
With the first reply, it almost doesn’t matter what the speaker says next. Hearing the word “but” probably triggered your defensive mechanisms.The second reply creates a more positive lead-in to the second part of the statement. Even if the speaker offers an interpretation of the facts that is different from yours, he or she has avoided triggering your defensive mechanisms early in the process so that you might receive what he or she has to say with an open attitude.
- Tell them, give them “What’s in it for them.”When you communicate with your team members, you will often be asking them to take an action of some kind. When they take the action, it will cost them something in the form of time, effort and energy. In return for that investment, they are looking for a corresponding benefit.When you communicate in direct and specific ways about how a decision, corporate goal, organizational objective or request for help affects people personally, you improve the odds that you communicate in a powerful and persuasive way.
- Engage them in the conversation by listening to their responses. When you have a dialogue with people rather than two simultaneous monologues, you improve your persuasive power.