A matter of words

Do I really have to argue? Couldn’t I just focus on my work?

Sorry to be the party killer but you already know that you can’t. 

More often than not we need to win others over and reason our decisions and solutions. We are forced to explain our work to people who don’t have the faintest idea what it is that we do and why the thing we just did is the best thing ever.

Sometimes those people are our bosses who stare at us over the table in our one-to-one. Other times it is the colleague (or spouse), who simply will not listen. Most often it is the customer, who has strong opinions but little knowledge of the matter at hand.

The less the other participant seems to understand us, the colder the sweat that creeps down your spine. What else is there to do? What else can I possibly say?

Start with these

All of us harp on about things sometimes

The more we worry or get frustrated, the more likely we begin to harp on about an issue. We repeat ourselves in the hope of being heard. If this doesn’t seem to help, though, what should we do?

It can’t make you angry if it’s the truth, right?

The truth hurts and shames us, which leads to indignation, defensiveness and even attacks. That’s why before voicing criticism it pays off to consider if the relationship is strong enough for critique, if you’ve done your homework well enough and if your phrasing is sufficiently tactful.

You get better feedback by asking for it

Ask for precise and specific feedback on a topic you’ve chosen yourself to work on. Then it’s easier for people to give you useful and concrete feedback, and it’s easier for you to receive it and use it to improve yourself.

Negotiate better with the echo technique

Using an echo allows the listener to understand that you didn’t quite understand that one bit. However, the echo doesn’t claim that the other person’s explanation was somehow bad. It asks for clarification, but at the same time leaves it open what information, or how much, they should add.

Did Your Boss Attend the Nordic Business Forum?

Stop the press! It is time to add some new things on the agenda of your next Monday meeting. If your boss was in the Nordic Business Forum, there are the themes, problems and ideas you should bring up with her now when the time is right.

Convince Your Audience with a Convincing Standing Position

We would of course prefer if only the content of the speech would matter. But the truth is, we don’t trust a speaker who doesn’t have a convincing body language. The good new is, we have been born with an ability to stand convincingly.

Talk to the Right Person in the Room

When you want the decision maker to be on your side, it is important to address the right person in the meeting. The one who actually affects the decision – instead of the nice dude, who already agrees with you.