Executive coaching, skills development, training and consulting in high stakes communication

Here’s a good way to check and see if you are good at the basics of business conversation. In my experience, the people who are best at it tend to:

  • Speak often and briefly (usually 15-30 seconds)
  • Ask more types of questions than others (not too many open questions that end up going nowhere fast and not too many closed questions that feel like an interrogation)
  • Make fewer solution statements early in a conversation/discussion
  • Headline their points in a sentence or two (this makes it easier to go away and repeat them to others)
  • Summarize often (aids in checking for understanding)
  • Invites others to share their views (and means it)
  • Unless passing on decisions, interjects views after others have had a chance to speak
  • Actively omit too much ‘you know’ and ‘uh’,   not speak too rapidly or forcefully
  • Simplify and emphasize
  • Even the Saints among us don’t converse this well all the time.

Try on one or two of these techniques for size in your next conversation and the rest will follow more easily.

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Comments ( 6 )

  • Ulf says:

    Thanks for this list. Verry useful to repeat in your head before entering a meeting.

    My problem is that i find i difficult to listen actively when i have an ide or a comment that i want to get out from my head. It sometimes ends up with me interupting the other person and i directly feel rude.

  • Ulf says:

    For a company that works with improving communication i feel that ” waiting for mederation” sience 20th of februari 2014 is a long time.

  • juliet says:

    HI Ulf,

    Sorry to upset you. My apologies for taking so long to get back – I have been doing some changes to my site in preparation for some upcoming classes and the launch of my next book. On top of that, I have been traveling and I’m afraid I have dropped the ball on checking the wordpress site. I hope you can forgive me.

  • juliet says:

    HI Ulf, thanks again for your query. You are not alone when it comes to wanting to get your ideas ‘out’ in a meeting. I think the price you pay for doing it before someone is finished is they 1. don’t feel listened to and you may hurt rapport or 2. because you interrupted you may miss something important that they wanted to say. Trust yourself – perhaps write your idea down. You will get so much more if you let the person finish. Maybe you will even change your idea after you hear more – it could be even better! Enthusiasm is wonderful – except when it gets in the way of real understanding. You can do this – it may be the best thing for your relationships. I am sure people enjoy your energy and ideas. They will like them more if they can share theirs fully, too. 🙂

  • Ulf says:

    Thank you for the feed back. I’m not uppsett, i would say more litte disapointed. I verry rarely write comments like this and therefore i felt when i didn’t get any feedback.
    I will listen to your advice and start taking a notebook with me everywere i go so that i can write down my ideas instead of interruppting when listing to others.
    Also now i have seen how a proffessional answers a disapointed “customer” : )
    Maby you have heard it 1000 times but i say it anyway. I realy like your book “the art of persuasion”. Helped me alot specially with presentations.
    By the way when will the new book be realesed and what is it about?


  • juliet says:

    Hi Ulf,
    Thanks for your note and for forgiving my special wordpress management skills. I appreciate your feedback on the book – and am so pleased it is doing its job! The next book is about negotiation and is called “The Nimble Negotiator’ and should be available on Amazon next week. It has been fun putting it together and I hope it is helpful too.
    Where are you located?

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