First of all we have to overcome our fear of failure. We need to accept the fact, that we are not perfect creatures.
To help us with this, we can use some simple but powerful tools.
- Ask questions. By doing this you create dialogue. You can obtain new information and clearify things for use in your response.
- Framing and reframing. These are some of the most powerful tool we have available in our communication toolbox. It lets you put things into your perspective. It makes things aligned with your response. For an example: the glass is half full, not half empty.
- Present oriented. You have to pay attention the the present. It's human nature to think of the future, the consequences and so on, but don't lose you point by focusing on matter ahead. If you communication shall succeed, you must make it relevant to your audience.
Ground basic rules
As stated, we are imperfect creatures. We do not have the answer to everything. So therefor - do not try to figure it out.
"We shall dare to be doll"
- Matt Abrahams
Some of the basic rules might seem doll and easy, but they take time and practice to master. Her is a few of the most important ones:
- See things as an opportunity instead of a challenge, treat or attack.
- Slow down and listen. Do this by avoiding stockpiling and pattern thinking .These are neurological responses and defense mechanisms of our highly developed and skill brain. It is your brain assisting you in rapid and convincing response. However l, in our modern times, this feature of ours has a huge drawback. It hinders our ability to listen and stay present oriented.
- What is the story? Keep your focus on the content of your communication. To do this you have to structure your communication. Structures information is 40% easier to process for your audience.
Let the structure set you free! It seems like a paradox, but think of it like this: if you have a structure, you can concentrate on the content of your communication. In particular in terms of spontan communication, this is extremely helpful.
There are many ways to structure communication. Here is two of the most useful structures when we talk about spontan communication.
Problem - Solution - Benefit
First we start by talking about the problem. The house is on fire! Now we have the audience attention. We then move on to the solution, in this case it could by evacuating the burning house. To convince our audience, we summarize the key benefit of following through on the proposed solution. We survive the fire instead of burning to death.
This structure is very effective in terms of sales pitches, feedback and decision making.
What? So what? Now what?
First we establish the subject or topic, then we explain why this is important and relevant for the audience and finally we move on to what is next.
This structure is very efficient in spontan communication. Introductions and answering questions. To give an example, I could call for a board meeting. We need to have a board meeting, (why?), because we are a victim of a media storm concerning a costumers bad experience with our product X. (So now), We hold a meeting where we come up with a great communication strategy and turn this crisis into a media stunt .