Good communication is vital within every business. Knowing that you’re being heard, and understood, is an immensely important part of this.
Too often we communicate on the surface, answering the questions directly put to us instead of seeking out the detail, the real meaning behind the question.
For example, if your partner wants to book a holiday, you may simply respond with ‘Great idea’ and start looking at options.
From there you may have an entire conversation which ends either tailing off or in some form of disagreement or frustration at not being able to find what you are both looking for.
Behind the initial question, there’s usually a deeper meaning. Does your partner feel stressed out, so wants to book a relaxing beach holiday rather than an action packed ski resort? Do they want to go away without the children, so only short haul breaks are suitable?
Or is it simply that they’re wanting to spend more quality time with you. In actual fact you may be better off looking at carving out regular quality time every week rather than waiting for a further 3 months to go away for a week.
By structuring conversations you can ensure that you get to the heart of the matter rather than just addressing the surface issues.
Six Steps is a framework…
…and a very simple, yet powerful communication tool. It will transform how you, your colleagues and your business communicate. Everyone, from the most junior to the most experienced people within a business will be enabled to communicate easily and effortlessly. Used effectively it will increase sales, productivity and employee engagement.
Context is everything
It all starts with the context of a conversation. For example, in an interview the initial context of the conversation is probably around getting to know the interviewee.
From this, you move to their capability, dictated by the position you’re interviewing for. Usually followed up with the ‘Do you have any questions for us?’ sign off at the end. This is your global agenda. Everyone is used to the way that works.
However, with six steps both parties need to also agree on a more specific agenda.
In addition to the points the interviewer would like to raise, the interviewee is asked to add their main discussion points to the agenda. Everyone gets to be heard and more importantly, the meeting covers precisely what everyone feels it is important to cover.
This process often uncovers valuable insights that would have previously been overlooked. It also means that all parties feel their opinion is valued which in turn increases engagement.
Unsurprisingly there are six steps to work through in this framework and to fully implement them you’ll need more detail than we’ve provided here. If you’re interested in finding out more, get in touch. We’ll be happy to talk you through the process.
In the meantime, imagine how this could be used in a sales meeting, a performance review, an appraisal or in a team meeting. Imagine how your employees, prospects and clients would respond if they knew they were being truly heard. And how this simple process could improve your business relationships.