F2F'S BLOG, GOOD READING AND COOL LINKS

F2F'S BLOG, GOOD READING AND COOL LINKS

Influencing Skills: Plan Your Communications - Part 1 of 4

Thursday, January 03, 2013

By Carolyn Crawford

Good morning one and all, I hope you’ve had a fabulous Christmas and New Year and are feeling rested, relaxed and excited about the year ahead.
A client recently asked for four monthly reminder emails, following their ‘Simply Influencing’ workshop, to help reinforce their new tools and skills.  It struck me as such a good idea, I figured I’d share these simple reminders here!

So you know what to expect, the four parts will focus on the following:

Part 1 – an overview of the entire process

Part 2 – a detailed breakdown of the Communications Planning Process

Part 3 – an overview of the NBI thinking quadrants

Part 4 – an exploration of how we can adjust our communication for people with different thinking preferences to our own. So this first part outlines the 7 steps to communications planning.  The following 3 will elaborate on each.

 

Step 1 - Identify the goal of your meeting – be clear about the outcome you’d like to achieve in this meeting.  Not the longer term outcome you’re shooting for over a 6 month period with this stakeholder, but the shorter-term, first step goal for this immediate meeting.

 

Step 2 - Do your audience research – consider the world from their point of view.  What are their targets, visions, challenges and concerns? What does a typical day look like for them? What keeps them awake at night?  Ask them directly in advance via email or phone, or speak to a mutual colleague.

 

Step 3 - Plan your questions (Asking) – a question has more influencing power than a statement.  It elicits information, it builds rapport, it opens up the conversation, you get to demonstrate your interest, and it triggers the law of reciprocity whereby someone who’s been listened to, is more inclined to listen in return. 

 

Step 4 - Consider your listening (Appreciating) – don’t just listen for the words and the content.  Listen and watch for the feelings too.  Look for any incongruence in the spoken word and the body language.  Listen for the inflections that imply interest, excitement, doubt or concern.  Pick up and run with those observations.  “You seem excited!” “Do I detect some concern?”  Probe further. Listen and understand more than the next person.  He who listens best wins.

 

Step 5 - Prepare your Advocacy – Just because you speak well doesn’t mean you advocate well.  Plan it.  Organise it.  Structure it.  And speak in their language using examples that are relevant to them.  This doesn’t mean scripting it.  It means having a basic outline and then being fluent and flexible on the day.

 

Step 6 – Spot the clues to help identify the thinking preferences of your stakeholder – look at their office environment; listen to what they speak about and how they speak about it; check out the way they dress; notice how they take notes; are they making small talk early in the meeting?; are they expressive with their opinions or more withheld?  Good cluespotting will give you powerful information about how they like to be communicated with and what outcomes and criteria are most important to them.

 

Step 7 - Tailor your Asking (questions), Appreciating (listening), Advocacy and body language for people with different thinking preferences to your own.  Once you have a sense of your stakeholders’ first and second thinking preferences, you can tailor your content and delivery to be more palatable and appealing for them.  This is not a matter of selling your soul or becoming someone else.  It’s a function of drawing on those quadrants that are still a part of your own thinking structure, though they may not be your first preference or two, and delivering from those quadrant gently and subtly for the length of the meeting. 

 

More on steps 1-5 in the next blog.  More on steps 6 & 7 in the third and fourth blogs to come.

All best and happy influencing.

  • Want to get this learning across to your team?  Why not hire f2f to deliver it?  Contact us to get a quote today.


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Business Development Manager
Mars

I now feel less nervous about the concept of presenting generally and more in control of the process

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General Mills

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Category Manager
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I had a fantastic experience, thank you Carolyn. I'm now more inspired to face challenges.

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Victorian Auditor General's Office

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Director
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Excellent. Good mixture of theory and practice. One of the best courses I have ever experienced

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Loved It. I have left with tools I can use tomorrow to improve all my meetings and presentations.

Finance Operations Manager
FMCG Co

Loved It. I have left with tools I can use tomorrow to improve all my meetings and presentations.

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Telstra

“Until I met Carolyn and listened to her audio course, I thought that to be a good presenter, I needed to morph into a different person. Carolyn helped me realise that being true to my unique style and personality is my greatest asset when presenting. She provides really useful tools and techniques that helped me develop my very own formula for presentation success”

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It is all about outcomes for F2F and this is what I most appreciated as a participant in the Influencing Skills training - they always had my growth as a leader in mind, and I was kept honest through follow up work to ensure my learning was put into practice.

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Carolyn was excellent. Great anecdotes, great pace, very engaging

General Manager Marketing
Nike

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HR Director
adidas Australia

Each year we ask F2F back to deliver training at adidas because they are organised, know their stuff and get results. The execution is seamless and their exceptional ability as trainers, unquestionable.

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Carolyn was helpful, respectful, empathetic and humorous€ a consummate presenter. Thank you

Logistics Manager
Mainfreight Logistics

Interesting, relevant, motivating, enlightening and fast moving

National Business Manager
Hallmark

Very relevant, logical, useful information. Immediately applicable in the workplace.

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Not only have I personally seen the skills of my team improve, their feedback suggests unanimously that the programs were well organised, professional, challenging and stimulating. They felt in short they had indeed developed their skills.

Partner
PricewaterhouseCoopers

Excellent! Very knowledgable and experienced and it shows.

Regulatory analyst
Essential Services Commission

Lots of great tips. Lots of references to other resources. A terrific framework for planning presentations. A very worthwhile use of my time

Regulatory Consultant
Essential Services Commission

I can use everything that we covered in the session immediately in all of my work - highly relevant! It will save me heaps of time and help me focus on a clear message that connects with the reader.

Sales analyst
adidas

This training provided the structure and knowledge I was looking for. My role often requires me to persuade people. This provided me with the tools to do so.

Sales Development Manager
TAL

A wealth of information and very supportive in delivery

Senior Associate
Freehills

Apart from presentations, these skills will be useful for ordering my thoughts in arguments for meetings and preparing written advice

Senior Associate
Freehills

Very engaging and practical.  Planning was always hard and time consuming for me.  The skills learnt will definitely solve that.

Telstra Media/Entertainment

Fantastic – feeling very empowered now. Looking forward to my next presentation.

Telstra Relationship Marketing

The best presentation skills I’ve done and in fact among the best training I’ve done.  I used the planning format straight away and it worked.  Fantastic course.