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Advanced Communications Skills

Advanced Communications Skills

Advanced Communications Skills

Advanced Communications Skills - Choose your words carefully Mr Bond, they may be your last!

It is possible to mess up BIG TIME, in the blink of an eye, by the clumsy use of language.

Words have power. This power can make you more successful or it can destroy your career.

Example:

Gerald Ratner, a British businessman, Chief executive of RANTERS jewellers, destroyed his career by making a joke. On 23rd April 1991, during his speech at the Institute of Directors; he said the following about one of his company's products:

We also do cut-glass sherry decanters complete with six glasses on a silver-plated tray that your butler can serve you drinks on, all for £4.95. People say, "How can you sell this for such a low price?" I say, "Because it's total crap".

That one joke cost him £500 Million pounds!
And his job.

Most of us are far too clumsy in our use of language

If we truly desire to get the best from ourselves and other people we must treat the power of words with more respect.

Why are words so powerful?

Words have power because they stimulate the human mind to form mental images: and then the person responds to the image held in the mind.

To some degree, everyone thinks in pictures: and we respond, not only to the external environment, but also to the pictures that are on our "mental screen".

If you have good pictures in your mind: you feel good and act accordingly

If you have bad pictures in your mind, you feel bad and act accordingly.

It is that simple!

And here is the point

Your words create mental images in the mind of the listener.

Do those pictures serve your best interests?

Or not?

So if John is asked to make a speech at his friend's wedding, that request will create a picture in Johns mind. But what picture?

  • If John pictures himself making a complete mess of the whole thing; with everyone laughing at him, he will have feelings of nervousness and unease.
  • If John pictures images of his speech being funny, well delivered and well received, he will feel inspired and confident.

Expert sales people are very careful with their words.

Expert sales people are very careful with the words they use and DON'T use.

Sales training expert, Tom HOPKINS, writes in his book; "The heart of selling is the ability to choose words that create desirable images in the mind of the listener"; And at the same time to avoid using words that cerate negative feelings such as:

  • Fear
  • Distrust
  • Loss

Tom goes on to list "Killer words": words which he suggests, if you are a sales person, you should avoid.

Examples of killer words and phrases are:

  1. We can do you a good "Deal"
  2. Sign here please
  3. Can I give you my "pitch"?

Tom thinks the word "Deal" sounds skivvy. He calls it "a miserable little word"

He prefers the word, "Opportunity":

"We have a wonderful opportunity for you over here!"

Sign here please

Tom thinks the words "sign here", triggers the fear memory of advice saying "Don't sign until you've read the small print".

So Tom prefers "Would you please endorse the paperwork"

or

"Authorise me to go ahead and make the arrangements for delivery"

Can I give you my "pitch" on this?

Tom HATES the word PITCH. He prefers you to use the word "Can I give you a presentation of the features and benefits of this particular product?"

Remember that your words are creating images in the mind of the listener and you should ask yourself; Are the images consistent with what I want?

Last example

Steve calls his ten-year-old son, "fool" as a nickname.

He says, "Hey, Fool, where's your mother?"

When I asked him "For what reason do you call your son, Fool?

Steve said: "Don't worry about it. I'm only joking. He knows I don't mean it".

But, dear reader, what is the net result, on the boy's psyche, if he is being called "fool" by his dad, 1000 times a week, for years?

It cannot be a good idea to call your son "fool", can it?

What would be a better alternative?

Either use his name

Or, if you have to make a joke, joke on the positive side of the line:

Call him "The Champ"

Call him Champ 1000 times a week, not fool.

Why?

Because, Champ creates a better image in the memory, than fool.

The same principle applies to every person that you meet

Remember your role is to get the best from yourself and others.

To do that, you must communicate effectively.

So think carefully about the words you use.

Use only those words that will create mental images in the mind of the listener that are consistent with your goals.

For more information about communication skills training visit the Corporate Coach Group website

About the Author: Chris Farmer

Chris

Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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Further Reading in Communication - Clear Communication

  • Clear Communication
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  • How to give feedback
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  • Think Before You Speak
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  • Communication skills for managers and leaders
    Leaders and managers need to lead their teams in order to achieve the successful outcome of their vision for their organisation. One of the main ways in which they do this is through being great communicators.
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