How valuable would it be to know how to tailor your communication so it makes the most sense to the other person?
To be persuasive to them?
How to (Almost) Read Minds
with Lucy Freedman
Join me for a 45-minute tour of your sphere of influence. Learn how to tune in to what is important to your customers, co-workers, anyone you want to influence to get things done.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for the link to the replay.
Do you have good ideas? Are you sometimes frustrated when they go nowhere? What do you do when you run up against resistance or just can’t seem to get a response?
For problems to get solved, for innovation to occur, for collaboration to grow out of conflict; new ideas and solutions are needed.
And yet, it may be difficult to dislodge the status quo or even get a hearing for a new idea. Organizational decision-making can be complex or unclear. A lack of confidence in yourself, your ideas, or your standing may hold you back.
Alternatively, when you do succeed in making a difference, you feel good, and valued, and that your work is worthwhile. Things may not be perfect where you work but they are moving in a good direction. Influence is a motivator.
Being influential is not merely a result of position power. Influence is a set of skills that can be learned and that need to be honed as you grow in your career. SYNTAX is the result of modeling and distilling the crucial ways of acting and being that create influence. It exists to help people with good ideas get them across and acted upon.
Take something that you would like to have happen in your workplace, an idea you would like considered, a solution you can offer. What are the first thoughts that come to mind? Here are the seeds of your own personal syntax, the kernel of how you organize for influence. Starting from there, SYNTAX helps you bring your contribution to others so that they can get on board, make decisions, and take action.
As a launch pad, answer these questions about your idea.
What do I want to happen?
What will that get me / you / us?
How will we know – what specific evidence will tell us – when this is done?
Outstanding influencers can answer these questions for themselves and for the people they want to reach. Knowing everyone’s intention, motivation, and evidence creates the needed focus for forward motion. This comes from Plan, one of the five SYNTAX skill sets.
When you can answer these three questions for any idea you want to bring forward, your influence is guaranteed to increase. Your ability to influence increases exponentially when you add in the other four skill sets. Your personal syntax becomes supercharged for influence.
We’re here to provide tools and guidance for you to create your unique roadmap with your own personal syntax as a starting point. That’s the purpose of the Messenger, and the purpose of SYNTAX courses, coaching, and consulting.
Join the influential people who have found out how much more of a difference they can make when they put SYNTAX to work for them. And today, enjoy the benefit of asking yourself “the three questions” for something you care about.
Is there someone with whom you have built up a barrier to communication?
Perhaps you reached an impasse years ago and still work with this person. Perhaps you know what you want to say and do not feel you can say it, or maybe you are not clear at all. For whatever reason, there’s a wall between you.
It’s hard to talk with him or her, and it’s different from the many work relationships where you and others get along fine.
If you would prefer that the wall weren’t there, here are some steps to take.
First, what are your assumptions? We commonly assume that the correct solutions are obvious, the other person’s position is unchangeable, that they are not rational, and that we have no responsibility for the breakdown.
Recognizing and questioning those assumptions can open the door for dialogue.
The next important step is to be careful NOT to jump in and give a good explanation of where you are coming from. Invite a conversation and then listen.
Listening through what the other person has to say may be difficult. Listen without interrupting, and with empathy.
If you find you are not able to listen through, take time to reflect. Maybe take out a piece of paper and write out your thoughts. Speak with a friend or communication coach to sort out what’s in the way and to build the skill of listening well.
If you can do this, there are few barriers to communication that will stand.
The first of the year inspires us to reach toward our hopes and dreams. Where will we be a year from now – what will be accomplished, what will have changed, how satisfied will we be that we have lived as we want to?
Idealism provides motivation. It is a great asset, a source of energy for day-to-day activities. Healthy idealists can let go and shift focus when outcomes differ from expectations, finding other ways to move forward.
A strategy I use to maintain idealism and motivation is to make little, ongoing choices that add up to better life balance. Our mindsets are held in place by our habits of thought and expression. When we consciously adjust our “syntax” we are applying our personal power to move toward our more idealistic worldview.
Today I caught myself writing an email reply that answered more than was asked. I didn’t need to volunteer more information. One word would do the job. Making similar choices this year will save me time and extraneous stress.
It was an adjustment in my personal “anticipate and solve every problem” syntax.
When my coaching clients try out a slight change and hear the difference, such as changing “but” to “and,” or practicing a gracious way to say no to a request, the positive results offer immediate reinforcement.
We can keep depositing credits into our “change the world”: account, sometimes with little noticeable effect, sometimes turning a whole negative situation into a positive one.
I’ll still set audacious goals and aim for new frontiers of improving communication on a larger scale. When I can see, hear, and feel results today, I am motivated to stay on course.
As you head toward your goals and ideals for 2011, what communication practices do you want to embed in your personal syntax? What specific action can you take today to move forward on that path?
Especially at work, what we communicate is who we are. As leaders and co-workers, we enhance or detract from the success of our enterprise with the communication competence we demonstrate. This is a skill set that has to grow to keep pace with complexity.
Working with a communication coach is a high-leverage way to accomplish several objectives at once:
-dedicating time and focus to this crucial area of your work life
-learning new skills tailored to your style and your goals
-and, perhaps most important, having an observer who can give you feedback and a place to test your thinking.
Many well-known C-level executives and other leaders rely on coaches, particularly to prepare for communication situations. If you want to reduce the stress and optimize your traction in communicating, it is likely that your HR folks or your department’s budget can provide funds for coaching.
No longer seen as remedial, communication coaching is fuel for career advancement and business success. For entrepreneurs, the return on investment is easy to measure through direct results.
Some criteria for selecting a communication coach:
– they make a clear contract for a number of sessions and / or a measurable outcome
– they do not have a conflicting relationship with you, i.e. they are not your boss or your best friend
– they are able to explain their approach, the communication models or assessments they use, and how this is applicable to your goals
-they will have an introductory conversation with you to determine best fit.
One of the criteria for choosing a coach is what you can learn from him or her. Coaches who are skilled with communication models help you put them into practice on a daily basis.
We all have blind spots, or simply preferences that don’t match up with those of co-workers or customers. Coaching can help prevent breakdowns or help us learn from them. An extra benefit is getting a reality check from a trusted advisor. Priceless.
We live in an amazingly complex world and an information-rich environment. The more intelligence you bring to it, the more you gain. Communication coaching helps you focus on what matters most to reach your goals. If you’re ready, let’s talk!
Our Premise is that…
…our ability to communicate effectively with one other is the most crucial priority in today’s global workplace.
By observing the behavior of successful individuals, teams, and organizations, we recognize habits and behavior patterns that constitute the SYNTAX, or structure, of success.
These are organized into five skill areas in a framework that serves as a common language, an organizational foundation for reaching goals and bridging differences.
The purpose of Syntax is to spread understanding and behavioral skill in the foundations of effective communication in efficient, easily learnable ways. To do this, we offer services and educational products to large and small enterprises and to facilitators, coaches, and consultants.
The sources on which Syntax is based include
Fernando Flores’ work on conversations and action,
Human Performance Technology,
and over twenty years of introducing Syntax to professionals in organizations.
Many of our assumptions are explained and demonstrated throughout our website at www.syntx.com. Feel free to browse for yourself, and come back often to catch handy hints and good ideas.
The current issue on “A Deeper Understanding of Your Client’s World” and all the past Syntax Messengers are archived at http://emailbrain.com/SyntaxMessenger.
Commentary on various aspects of business, life, the economy, and mostly, communication.