Achieving Business Excellence with John Spence

Do I Really Need To Say Anything?

I have started a new practice that has made a huge positive impact on my life. As a consultant, I’ve always known that my job was to ask good questions and listen intensely. However, in my personal life I will often give my feedback, opinions, ideas, suggestions and direction without even being asked for it! Because I realized this wasn’t exactly a positive trait, during the last few months I have focused on asking myself a few questions before I open my mouth.

  • Do I really need to say anything right now?
  • Is what I’m going to say adding any significant value to the conversation?
  • Is what I want to say helpful or am I just trying to talk about me?
  • Do they want my advice or simply for me to listen to them?

Just taking a moment to pause and ask myself these questions has totally changed the way I approach conversations with my family, friends and colleagues. I have found that in the past I would often say things that were not relevant, did not help the conversation move forward in a positive direction or were simply an effort for me to impose my thoughts and values on someone else. Carefully thinking about what I am planning to say, before I say it, has cut my comments by 80%. I talk a lot less, listen more, and end up having much better and more satisfying conversations for myself and others.

So to finish, rather than telling you what to do let me ask you a question; Do you think it would be helpful to ask yourself these questions before you start talking?

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How to be More Effective on Conference Calls

 

1. Realize that much business is now done through email and over the phone. These are both lousy ways to communicate important information, but we are stuck with them.

Research shows that 93% of communication is non-verbal, including such important cues as body language, facial expressions, and eye contact. On the phone, at least you have some additional tools such as pace, volume, and tone of voice, inflection and the ability to adjust responses in real time. Email, however, can be extremely dangerous and leaves you completely vulnerable to hordes of miscommunication marauders. So when you are trying to communicate very important information-especially in situations that are highly complex and confusing, fraught with emotion, and/or involve floating new ideas – try, if at all possible, to communicate in person. Your second choice should be telephone; your very last resort should be email.  With that said, we all understand that in today’s fast-paced, global business world of virtual teams across multiple sites and time zones it is often necessary to conduct a large part of your work via the dreaded “conference call.” Since there is no escaping them, here are some suggestions to help you make every call as focused and effective as possible…

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