The ability to state what you want to say concisely — I mean only once, without much superfluous information or redundancy, like not doubling what you already said, just only saying what you want to say once and then shut up without giving a host of detailed examples, is a skill not practiced by many .
As you probably just experienced when reading this first sentence, too much information leaves the listener impatient. They start thinking about other things, which gives the speaker the impression that they are not being listened to, which in turn encourages them to say what they have just said again. And voilà we have a vicious cycle of infinite boredom and lost productivity.
There are two solutions to this problem.
Work on your own skill
In coaching and team coaching, the skill of summarizing concisely what your clients have said and reflecting back the important bits can be very helpful. So, if you find yourself to lean toward the meandering side of communication, how do you learn to focus on a few, clear words?
One way of practicing is going to our YouTube Playlists of recorded coaching conversations (www.youtube.com/solutionsacademy) and select a recording. Play the video, listen closely to what the client says and stop the video after each contribution of the client. Pause and think and then write down or speak aloud your most concise version of what you would say back. This way, you learn how to use yours and everybody else’s time wisely.
Use that skill in meetings to help others focus
Once you have mastered the skill of concisely summarizing of what is important to clients, you can start using it in meetings. Here is an example:
|Cindy||I think we should consider, maybe, well, I’ve been thinking about you know, I think what we should really do is think about when we can meet next year. In my last team I always thought it was a good idea to set up dates in advance and if we could just maybe all take our calendars and you know what I experienced previously was that if we get clarity on…|
|You||Thanks, Cindy. Brilliant idea. Clarity on dates next year is very important. Can we all get out our calendars and check?|
|Cindy||Yeah, that’s what I meant!|
|You||It’s a great idea!|
Here is another case:
|Ernie||I really think we should use rubber duckies as our next marketing giveaway. They are so cute and everybody loves them. We can also have them in our company colors!|
|Bert||I really want to second what Ernie said here. Rubber duckies are the best thing west of the Mississippi. My niece really loves rubber duckies and I don’t think there is anybody who doesn’t love them! And just imagine how great they would be in our company colors, I really like that idea!|
|You||Yup, Ernie and Bert, brilliant — so we are looking for something cute and well-liked that we can brand in our colors.|
|Bert||Yeah, that’s what I meant!|
|You||Okay what other possibilities do we have that would serve the same purpose?|
The additional advantage of paying attention to the important words is that you have something to focus on — you don’t give the impression of being bored. You are interested and constructive and using your coaching skills for everybody’s benefit.
To experiment even more with these skills, join us at our free coaching meet up an exchange:
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Looking forward to seeing you!