After my seminar at the Project Management Institute’s Austin, Texas Professional Development Day last week I had the privilege of meeting one of my seminar attendees, and his wife who met him after the conference.
A discussion ensued about the strategies in my seminar he 7 Deadliest Sins of Leadership & Workplace Communication” settling deeper into the topic of Lack of Focused Attention because my seminar attendee’s wife, a successful realtor in the Austin area, mentioned she has a strategy for respectfully interrupting people when she calls them.
Since I often learn from my seminar students I was very open to learning a new strategy to borrow for my trainings.
She proceeded to tell me, “whenever I call someone and I feel like I may be interrupting them I want to make sure I’m respectful, so what I say is…
“Did I catch you at a bad time?”
After hearing her suggestion, I said, “that’s a good way to do it, and I’m wondering if you would be open to an even better way?”
She said, “What do you mean?”
I said, “well, your approach is good up to a point and what it does is plant the suggestion that it is a bad time for them to speak with you. That language violates another of my communication sins, ‘A Lack of Desirable Behaviors.’
“What you want to say instead, to plant the suggestion that it is a good time for them to speak and allow them to feel more positively inclined to be comfortable with the interruption, is this…
“Is this a good time for us to speak?”
Basically, the same question, asked with the same intention, and focused on the positive outcome you desire.
Language like this is, positive focused, very influential and will lead your subject to fulfill your request much more frequently.
It will also build your reputation as an influential communicator, show yourself as a peer of whomever you are calling and build trust with everyone with whom you are trying to get their attention.
This simple shift in language is another strategy to make you a power communicator.
To build more power communication skills and habits, check out Communicate to Influence Up, Down & All Around 2.0, my newest tele-class training that launches soon.
‘til next time, communicate with power!