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1 min readSay It To Be Heard

by Guy Gage | May 15, 2016 | Business

In several of the Partner-Pipeline courses, we concentrate heavily on communication. Not just listening and talking, but in specific situations where communicating is a challenge. One area is how to present your perspective when you disagree with someone. This is an essential skill whether you are on an engagement team, with a client, or in a partner meeting. How you state your point will determine whether you are taken seriously. Or not. Often, the realists among us have important points to make but aren’t heard; or worse, chided—not so much for their observations, but for their delivery. What they have to say gets lost in how they say it.

For instance, if you whine that something won’t work but don’t give your hearers anything more than your crappy attitude, don’t expect much. Your message gets lost and you are reduced to being tolerated. “There he goes again. Let’s move on.”

If you state your position as a fact, as if there is no other logical perspective, you basically say that they are all idiots. They may be so, but you don’t get very far by appearing to be superior. You may not mean to communicate that message, but that’s how you are heard.

As you can see, this is a very important skill to practice. So you can imagine how pleased I was when I heard an emerging senior actually use it in a discussion. Rather than state his point in his usual style, he actually applied what he learned. It was even more gratifying how others responded positively to him. He felt the impact of being taken seriously and not discounted or minimized, as had often been the case. His experience in that moment will change how he communicates from there on.

When you communicate a different perspective, what response do you get? If it’s not positive, don’t fall into the trap of blaming others. It just may be about you and how you communicate your point. Dang. Where’s that mirror?

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