Thank you for tuning in to The Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher! Have you ever been in a situation where you wanted to speak up, but you weren't sure how to communicate in a way that produced change without damaging the relationship? Unfortunately, there is not a one size fits all solution. The right approach often requires you to consider the mission, time pressures, and your audience. In this week’s episode, you will learn the keys to direct communication including, conveying the message, managing perceptions, and navigating the verbal and non-verbal elements that go into the process.
Benefits of Direct Communication:
decreases the possibility of having a misunderstanding
increases the level of trust in a relationship
protects the truth
Q: Knowing these benefits, why do you think people avoid direct communications? What kinds of emotions come up for you when you think about direct communication? Describe a time when you were the recipient of direct communication. How did you feel? What action did you take afterward? Would you have done anything differently?
Tips for communicating more directly:
1. Don’t be abrasive.
You do not have to be rude or abrasive to be direct. The best way to be direct is by being calm and composed.
2. Clearly separate the communication of facts and your opinions.
Start by going over what you observed and then move on to how those actions, words, emails, and responses impacted you or the work environment. Keeping your opinions out of the discussion will help you avoid having the other person becoming defensive.
3. Become aware of your intentions.
Your intention is the hidden agenda behind what you say. Regardless of the words you use, your intention is revealed to others through your body language and tone. Before you have an accountability conversation, make sure you understand what your intentions are. Don’t deliver the message until your words and actions can corroborate your true intentions.
4. Make requests directly.
Don’t make your listener read between the lines to know what you want them to do. Give them an actionable request. If you are not sure what you are asking, consider what measurable result you want to see come out of the conversation.
Q: Which of these steps is the most difficult for you? Why? Have you overcome any difficulties in these areas? If so, share them with your team. Describe a time that you communicated effectively and the results. Which of these principles did you utilize?
What expectations do you have for the people in your life? Write down a list. Have you communicated these expectations? If not, check out the podcast episode Setting Expectations. The more clear your expectations, the easier it will be to have direct conversations about those expectations.
Take a moment to reflect on your intentions when you have difficult conversations. Are you hoping to create a behavior change, or do you want to put the offender in their place? Are you interested in coming to a mutual understanding, or do you want to “win”? Be honest with yourself! It’s okay if your motives are not pure at the moment. However, you should work through those emotions before you have a follow-up conversation.
Is there a conversation you have been putting off? Walk yourself through the tips provided in this episode by writing your answers to the following questions:
What emotions do you currently have about the situation?
What do you want to accomplish in the conversation? Be honest about your intentions.
What are the facts about what happened? What is your opinion? Make sure you can separate the two.
What result do you want to come out of the conversation? Is it specific? Is it measurable?