“What was that all about?”
“Dad, here are mom’s slippers.”
“Son, I sent you to get her laptop!”
How do we get slippers from laptop?
Ever have a team member come to you with a report and you think:
“That’s not even CLOSE to what I asked for.” How could things have gotten so off track?
I find that this happens a lot with my teens (and pre-teens.) Sometimes it’s a listening problem, but if I’m being honest with myself I need to recognize that many times it’s my fault.
What can you do to be more clear?
What if you made a moment or two to think about HOW you’ll say what you want, and how to engage your listener?
I’ve picked up a few “formulas” for communication – and wanted to share one today.
- Observation – here’s what I noticed you doing / not doing.
- Impact – here’s the impact that’s having.
- Suggestion — here’s what you can try going forward.
Getting back to those slippers,
“Thanks for your help.
Hey – I’ve noticed that sometimes when I ask for your help you end up picking up something entirely different than what I asked you to get – like those slippers you’re holding right now.”
“It seems pretty inefficient to have you go twice, plus it’s frustrating to have you get what I didn’t want.”
“Next time, let’s try this: When I ask you to get get something, please repeat back what I asked so I know we’re on the same page. Can we make that work?”
For more formulas on communication, including
- Explaining a problem
- Talking about your products or
- Communicating your vision,
check out this blog post from another coach
One Final Thought:
Help your team by giving them specific feedback using the Observation, Impact, and Suggestion formula –
then email me and tell me how it went. tom@BrightHillGroup.com
I’m in DC this week. We’re helping my mother in law work on downsizing in prep for her move. She’s coming to live with us! I’m also doing some work with corporate clients on “Managing Difficult Customers”, Goal Setting and Goal Achievement, plus I’m meeting with friends, too.