I’ve had a rollercoaster of emotions over the past few weeks as I’ve been struggling to communicate effectively at work. I’ve particularly been finding it tough getting my ideas and solutions adopted so I’ve been working on my “speaking up” communication skills to start persuading and influencing more effectively. I’ve also realised that my emotions are attached to getting my points and opinions across, so my anxiety has been creeping up too.
I’ve specifically been trying to communicate better to get my points and opinions accepted but also in a way that’s healthy for me.
So here’s the thing I’ve learned. It’s much easier to get YOUR POINT ACROSS when you appear non-threatening to the other person. If you choose the right language to share your opinion it has a better chance of getting listened to and adopted.
It’s been a tough few weeks that have been difficult and fantastic in equal measure. I’ve now found a “speaking up” communication method that works!
It’s been so cool to see the results. I have better relationships at work, more of my opinions getting accepted, all while my stress levels stay down….woohoo!
Here’s the simple four-step approach I’ve used for speaking up and influencing and not stressing out:
1. Listen carefully to the other person’s point of view
Listening is an important skill, and it’s the first important step of you getting your point across in a smart way. If you don’t listen carefully, then it will be hard for you to know for sure what the counter-argument is.
You also want to show the other person that you care about their point and have considered the implications of it. Also, some people need to be listened to. They get frustrated if not, and will want to say their point over and over again and are unlikely to agree with you whatever you say next.
2. Replay it back to them
Let the other person know that you have heard their point by replaying it back to them. Repeat what they have said or paraphrase but try to use the words they have used to make it feel comfortable for them.
You could say something like:
- “ I’m hearing you would like to do….(repeat what they said)”
- “So you’re thinking it could
wouldwork like …..(repeat what they said)”
3. Detach yourself from your argument
It’s easy to get caught up in your point and be emotionally attached to it. However, it will be enormously helpful to detach yourself from your argument. By making your point a suggestion, you can divorce yourself from the outcome making it much easier to accept that they may not choose your way or take on board your opinion.
However, if you’re looking to influence your boss or someone senior they are much more likely to take your advice or choose your way of working if you use the right language. By using the correct words to suggest your idea rather than telling them they should do something they will be much more open to accepting and adopting your opinion, idea or advice.
Here are some “speaking up” killer phrases that work for me and will work for you too:
- “Could I suggest….(insert your point/opinion)”
- “How about we do…(insert your point/opinion)”
- “Would you be willing to do/try…(insert your point/opinion)”
- “Maybe another way might be…(insert your point/opinion)”
- “How would you feel about trying it a different way….(insert your point/opinion)”
4. Say your point and sell the benefits
Say your point and be concise and get across how it will benefit them. You’re much more likely to persuade someone to agree with you if there are clear benefits for them. Describe how your way is better, why it will help them and the better outcome they can expect.
This is the best method I’ve found for speaking up and influencing and not stressing out. This shizzle really works so I hope you find it useful too! Let me know in the comments below
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