I was speaking at an Evanta CIO Summit in Denver two weeks ago and a CIO asked what was the best way to talk to a board member he is flying to see next week. He told me some of the questions he was going to ask and my response was one I say several times daily with my clients:
“Instead of saying that, try this...”
Purpose, preparation, and practice matters, these are the three Principles of Words That Just Work:
First, this executive had to understand the purpose of this conversation - I asked him “what do you want to get out of this?” Stating your intent or purpose at the start of conversations helps everyone. “I want to understand how and when you prefer to be kept informed” was the intent for this CIO.
Next, you have to prepare, many executives run from one meeting, product launch, customer conversation to the next without taking a moment to plan what you are going to say and how you will say it.
Finally, what this CIO got to do was practice exactly what he was going to say. This gives you a chance to not stumble, consider if your intent is clear, and to hear alternative ways of saying it. One client got to practice a conversation in preparation for a 1-1 with her divisional president. She was frustrated that the promises during her hiring for promotion were not being fulfilled as fast as she hoped. She practiced, had the conversation, and the next week was told she was doubling the size of her team. Why this mattered most was her President was going on sabbatical, had she not had the conversation, it would never have happened for at least six months.
My favorite part of speaking is the audience conversation. It’s why I’m not on the stage. I’m in the audience with my talks. I want to hear the reactions and questions and most of them are around how to approach conversations and situations.
After my two talks with Evanta this week, the overwhelming feedback I heard was it was powerful to take time to stop and think using approaches that can rapidly impact your business.
Are you ready for what you really want to say and how you will say it?
Dedicated to growing your business,
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