Written by: Sayre Darling
Want something different for your business in 2021? Let’s start by taking a look at how you are talking about your current situation and what you really want.
Do you sound a bit like Debbie Downer who is rarely engaged in conversation with customers or employees? Are you lost in your own thoughts about the current state of your business? Do you find that few customers or employees only reach out to ask specific questions and rarely engage you in conversation? And are you looking back at 2020 with anger and regret?
Or are you able to remain authentic and at ease in discussing what worked or didn’t work this year; able to be a little self-effacing and kind to yourself for doing what you thought was best, but was frequently taken off course by all of the pivoting to keep your business solvent? And are you looking forward with curiosity, hope and engaging customers and employees alike on new ideas for 2021?
- Courage – Give yourself some credit: It takes courage to initiate a conversation
- Connection – Before you launch into a conversation, take time to really connect with who you are talking to
- Context – Launching a conversation without some kind of introduction or context is startling and can be uncomfortable, “Well, why did they want to talk to me about that?”
- Curiosity – Be curious about what the other person is talking about. Ask for more information and listen to understand. Otherwise, you may be suspected of not being genuinely interested and only seeking to better yourself
- Surrender – Listening is an act of a momentary surrender. When engaged in conversation, surrender what you are thinking, what you want to say in response, what you are going to do next, and, just be present
- Listening – The best conversation I’ve ever experienced is when I feel I have been deeply listened to and the person is listening to both what is said, and un-said
- Feedback – Everyone deserves a meaningful response and direct feedback delivered compassionately. Don’t lead people to believe that you agree with them when you don’t, or leave them hanging without any response.
Reach out if you’d like to learn more about how to change your conversations that will change your life.
*Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second Edition 2nd Updated ed. Edition by Kerry Patterson (Author), Joseph Grenny (Author), Ron McMillan (Author), Al Switzler (Author), The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2012.
About the author:
Sayre Darling helps shift business owner’s perspectives from saying what they want to say, to figuring out what they need to say in order to be heard. As a small business owner for more than 25 years, Sayre has developed an approach to creating strategic, integrated and results-oriented external and internal marketing and communication programs uniquely suited to small business owners.
Sayre has a Master’s in Business Communications (MBA with a communications focus) from the
University of Saint Thomas, Minneapolis, Bachelors of Arts in Journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and she received her accreditation as a life coach from The Hudson Institute, Santa Barbara, Calif.