Communication

The Yes And Myth

June 14, 2014 -- Sal Silvester

leadership communication - using yes and

The latest workplace communication craze called "Yes and" has recently been popularized by team builders and improv folks who've never stepped into the business board room. It's a technique that minimizes disagreement and encourages agreement. So, instead of responding to a team member's idea with a "No" or a "But," people are trained to respond with a "Yes and…."

Leadership and Conversations

January 21, 2013 -- Sal Silvester

I recently read an article in the Harvard Business Review, Leadership is a Conversation, by Boris Groysberg and Michael Slind. As of June 2012 Boris and Michael had spoken to over 150 people in 100 companies where research participants consistently mentioned their efforts of "having a conversation" or "advancing the conversation" in their organizations.

I agree that Leadership, in part, really is a conversation. And I have also found that leaders who struggle most fail to engage people through conversation. Often times they:

Are You Seeking Agreement or Commitment?

October 7, 2011 -- Sal Silvester

A challenge in too many organizations is that teams and leaders often seek agreement instead of commitment.

You probably know what I'm talking about.

Agreement happens when people sit in meetings, nod their heads, and then afterwards either fail to take action or deliver on time.

Commitment, on the other hand, occurs when people take responsibility and then follow through to completion.

Agreement results in head nods. Commitment results in action.

Is your team stuck in seeking agreement instead of commitment?

3 Ways to Generate Dialogue in Meetings

October 3, 2011 -- Sal Silvester

I often hear leaders say "I want my people to contribute more in our team meetings."

What most leaders don't realize is that limited conversation is often the result of their individual behaviors. For example, I recently attended a client's team meeting and noticed that he would ramble on for several minutes at a time and then ask "any questions?" and without hesitation begin talking again.

And, he didn't even know he was doing it.

Want to generate more conversation in your meetings?

Try these three ideas.

Communicate What You Need

September 6, 2011 -- Sal Silvester

When people don't communicate what they need, it results in a lose-lose for themselves and others around them.

I recently experienced this in my personal life. I'd been traveling (mostly for fun and personal time off) several weeks in a row and my wife and I were invited on an out-of-town trip to the mountains with friends. I immediately said yes, because spending time with friends and family is one of my core guiding principles.

Four Excuses to Scare off a Customer...Forever

August 22, 2011 -- Sal Silvester

Here are 4 real-life excuses that will scare off a retail customer every time.

Excuse One: “It’s our policy.”

Ah, the dreaded fallback position from employees and organizations that have no clue about what the customer needs. Smells like complacency to me. In other words, corporate has my hands tied and I can’t do anything for you.

Excuse Two: “My manager is on vacation for the next week.”

This seriously happened to me. Right after excuse number 1. Sounds a lot like "my dog ate my homework."

Tip 23: Own Your Feedback

June 10, 2009 -- Sal Silvester

One of the most frustrating experiences I have had when interacting with others is when I receive feedback from someone who decides to use "softeners" instead of being direct in his or her communication. These "softeners" come in the form of:

  • saying "we" when you really mean "I"
  • using words such as "kinda", "sortof", and "right"
  • being indirect in asking for something by saying "would you mind..."

These "softeners" often result in ambiguity and confusion about a person's intent. Effective communicators and influencers, on the other hand:

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