We are always busy in the business-of-life. We tend to keep ourselves and our team busy rather than thinking of the ways to be productive–> creative –> sensitive.
So we have to understand that Being Busy is not equal to productive.
There are some brain science essentials always at work, and we should understand them to harness them:
- Less is More:
Our brain is always busy in evaluating things on average. Let’s understand this: let’s say you do a lot of work at office and hence you do a good average in all tasks and it means a lot to you.
Yet at the same time someone else is working on less number of tasks and doing better on those tasks making his average being more than you.
Now objectively you did more work than him in a given time but his average is more than you.
No surprises, at the time of promotion of key assignments he overtakes you as he is perceived more worthy than you as people evaluate others on average not total.
Hence remember less is more. Do less jobs but do them brilliantly!
- Priming matters a lot, yet in any experience what happens in the last matters a hell lot more… The last lingers for loooooonggggg!
So when stakes are high go-slow, don’t act in haste. Control your impulses and remember to use the yes-no-yes tool to communicate.
- Yes-no-yes: Prime with a positive yes ( even if you want to say no outright) then express your no in way ‘I feel…’ statements, it’ll smoothen out the impact of no and to end of a high note for the last part of a seemingly bad experience, end with a yes statement as an alternate possibility(The other person can say no to it).
For an effective communication that builds up a happy environment, it is essential to get heard as what’s heard is more important than what’s said.
Getting heard implies what do you mean:
- In a certain way
- In a certain tone of voice
- At a certain speed
- At a certain degree of loudness.
You become a better listener by understanding the linguistic styles. e.g
- Sharing a credit–> Use ‘we’ rather than I
- Acting modest–> downplay the certainty about future performance.
- Ask Questions: –> Ask it freely
- Apologise:–> apologise freely
- Giving feedback –> noting weakness only after citing Strengths.
- Avoiding verbal opposer:–> Avoids challenging others’ ideas and hedge what satisfy your own.
- Managing UP:–> Avoids talking up achievements with higher-ups.
- Being Indirect: –> speaks indirectly rather than bluntly, when telling subordinates what to do.
Some typical Dos and Don’ts of Behavioural communication for effective workplace:
- Establish Credibility: use priming via Introductions, appropriate clothing to demonstrate your expertise and build a relationship.
- Frame goals on common grounds
- Vividly re-in force your position
- Connect emotionally.
- Attempts to make your case upfront, hard-sell.
- Resist compromise
- Think it is about presenting great arguments.
- Persuasion is a process — never a one-shot event.
At times, you may have to go through difficult conversations. And it has to be done but, take the stress out of stressful conversations by
- Having awareness and perspective taking ( what other people might be thinking)
- Bringing clarity of positions and interests behind those positions.
Yes-no-yes is a handy tool for this:
- the first yes has to be passionate positive for your deeper yes,
- the no has to be as matter-of-fact in neutral tone.
- The last yes should have a temperate phrasing o f alternate possibility– the goal is to advance the conversation, to hear and to be heard accurately.
So practise your responses, write them, rehearse them and fine-tune your phrasing.
Quite often, you may find yourself in the discomfort of silence, no conversation.
You need to learn about mastering silence: if we wrongfully get trapped in the vicious trap of accommodation or avoidance, it builds up resentful anger. We need to quickly replace it with the virtuous cycle of Communication in a setup so that
- Individuals find courage to act differently
- Executives to create an environment where people value expression of difference. It out-pours new ideas that might raise organisations’ performance to a whole new level.
(Shekhar Chandra is an IIT-Delhi alumnus.He has over a decade of entrepreneurial experience and leadership excellence. He is also a member of Big Wire team. Reach him at YouLEAD)