HOW TO TALK YOUR WAY TO SUCCESS
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Picture the scene, you’re stuck in a meeting. Time seems to be still. (It may even have jumped backwards.) Many words have been articulated, but very little appears to have been said and much less completed. If you can relate to this situation, you’re likely to also be very aware of its opposite: a quick, well-organized and productive meeting which feels like everyone is on the same page.
It’s safe to say that, particularly during meetings effective communication is vital. But being economical with language is about more than getting out to lunch on time. It’s about saying what you mean, helping others to comprehend it, and, critically, causing some form of action to take place afterwards, too. Of course, this isn’t restricted to the workplace. As you’re certainly are aware, it also helps to be a good communicator in your personal life as well.
But excellent communiqué is not simply, as the saying goes, an art. It’s also a science with methods and tactics that humans have been forming and refining since the time of Aristotle. For those who favour shortness, the good news is that The Communication Book contains 44 hard-and-fast rules that will enhance your interactions with everyone from the intern at work to your mother-in-law at the weekend.
We’ve selected three of the most valuable to get you going.
Don't Be. Become.
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GET STRICT WITH MEETINGS
TED talk chief Seth Godin says that there are only three kinds of meetings. In the first, a group of members are informed about something by another group. In the second, a group gathers to converse a certain topic. And in the third, a person or group of people seeks permission from others to do something. The thing that usually gets a meeting off on the wrong foot, however, is if the people in it have diverse thoughts on which of the above types of meeting they are contributing in. The way to improve this? Simple. The Communication Book endorses, for a start, limiting all meetings to 15 minutes. This guarantees that all participants are correctly informed in advance, and know exactly what must be achieved in the allocated time. The book also recommends a “no smartphone” policy, which inspires everyone to stay focused and take notes by hand. Hey, if it’s good enough for the Obama administration, it’s good enough for you.
BE A BALANCED BOSS
If you’ve ever had a job, then it’s very likely you will have had a manager. And, as you’ll know, they are, shall we say, unpredictable in quality and temperament. The Communication Book recommends refining your own bossing method by first imagining the best boss you’ve had and then the worst. What differentiates them from each other? It’s quite possible that the better one was also a superior communicator. Someone who made you feel as though you were giving your best each day, and helped you to recognise exactly why. The Communication Book offers three general tips to replicate this. First, don’t criticise. While you’re permitted to evaluate the work and performance of an underlying, try to use “we” in order to keep the accusations to a minimum. Second, give praise but not too much. Don’t lower your standards, and keep them striving to improve. Finally, practise what you preach. Leading by example shows you know what you’re doing which commands respect.
ALWAYS BE OPEN TO COMPROMISE
One of the thorniest situations you’ll encounter in the workplace is one in which you irreconcilable dispute with another’s point of view. In this scenario, you’ll have to enter the psychic UFC cage of negotiation to find out whose solution will be put into practice. The Communication Book offers a few rules that will help to get the outcome you want when collaborating. Most crucially, focus on the topic at hand, not your relationship with the person you’re talking to. Thinking about whether they’ll like you or not after you force them to cede will distract you from your negotiating position. Next, try to remember that you probably won’t achieve a “perfect” outcome. Decide where you think the “good enough” resolution is, and stick to it. The Communication Book quotes Jean Paul Getty on the subject, who says, “You must never try to make all the money that’s in a deal. Let the other fellow make some money too because if you have a reputation for always making all the money, you won’t have many deals.”
Makes sense to us.
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DRESS TO SUCCESS
COMME DES GARÇONS
VIRGIL SUEDE BOOTS
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A U T H O R
I M A G E
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