360° Coverage : Overcoming Fake Talk: Put Your Best Voice Forward

2 Updates
Overcoming Fake Talk: Put Your Best Voice Forward

Overcoming Fake Talk: Put Your Best Voice Forward

Jan 30 2014, 11:59pm CST | by

If you want to maximize your impact at work, you must put you best voice forward. Why? Because even if you have excellent credentials and technical skills, you add your greatest value by interacting...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

30 weeks ago

Overcoming Fake Talk: Put Your Best Voice Forward

Jan 30 2014, 11:59pm CST | by

If you want to maximize your impact at work, you must put you best voice forward. Why? Because even if you have excellent credentials and technical skills, you add your greatest value by interacting well with other people.

We live in an interdependent world. Trouble is, a lot of people in this age of texting and email haven’t mastered the art of good conversation. I’m not referring to the ability to chat somebody up about the weather or last weekend’s ballgame. A lot of people can do that. I’m referring to truly meaningful interaction between people.

True dialogue is not pie-in-the-sky, let’s all-hold-hands-and-sing stuff. Neither is it a touch-feely, warm-and-fuzzy, soft-headed approach to thinking and interacting. Open and honest dialogue is a key ingredient of high performance and strong results.

To learn more about the what, why, and how of effective conversations, I interviewed John Stoker. He’s author of the book Overcoming Fake Talk: How to Hold REAL Conversations That Create Respect, Build Relationships, and Get Results  

A lot of people think they’re pretty good at talking, yet they don’t get the results they want. What’s the most common cause of this disconnect?

Many people engage in what I call fake talk. That can include explanations that are vague or unclear, representations that are intentionally misleading, or even a conscious or unconscious withholding of all or part of a person’s meaning. Unfortunately, the person often doesn’t find out that they have been engaging in fake talk until it becomes clear that they are getting results they don’t want or didn’t expect.

Why does this disconnect occur?

Because people think the words they use are the communication. In reality, the actual words we use comprise only a small percentage of the meaning we communicate. Much more information is communicated by tone, non-verbal behaviors, individual styles, the context of the conversation, and the nature of the relationships.

What’s an example?

Someone recently told me that when her director stands and speaks to the team for 30 minutes, afterwards no one in the room can explain what the director meant or what he wanted from the team. Consequently, the director’s message is subject to a whole spectrum of interpretations. Adding to the disconnect, of course, is the fact that none of his employees is willing to ask for clarification for fear of appearing stupid or incompetent, or of causing offense. As you can see, there’s little likelihood that this director will get what he really wants.

What are some of the keys to holding a conversation that produces the results you want while maintaining mutual respect?

Everyone wants respect. What they often fail to consider is the impact that respect and the quality of the relationship have on results. I recently received an email from a man who had read my book, Overcoming Fake Talk. He had a great story to tell: Originally he was skeptical about my claim that respect and relationship have a huge impact on results. Then he had an eye-opening experience at a car dealership where he had gone to get his windshield replaced. An unfortunate misunderstanding resulted in an altercation with the service manager, and this customer stormed out of the dealership. Sitting in his vehicle, he remembered what I had written about respect, relationship, and results, and decided to test it out. He went back to the manager and apologized. By the end of the interaction, not only had his windshield been repaired with complementary labor, but had also made a connection with a fellow customer in the waiting room—who coincidentally turned out to be someone he had been trying to make a business connection with for over six months. Because he took action to improve the respect and the relationship in this encounter, his results improved exponentially.

Many people tend to judge others by their behavior while they want others to judge them by their intentions. How can effective conversation help build and maintain trust?

First, have you ever met a person that you immediately knew you could trust the first time you saw them? There was just “something” about them or something they exuded that made you feel safe to some degree. You might ask yourself whether you could be or become that kind of person—are you trustworthy? Do you speak and act as if you genuinely have people’s best interest at heart? Or might people accurately sense that you have another agenda?

Second, the underlying assumption behind this question is that people tend to judge and think negatively about others. This can be addressed by one of the skills outlined in my book: the ability to “Recognize and Suspend” one’s own thinking. When I suspend my thinking, I consciously set aside my preconceived judgments, assessments, and opinions about another person and their behavior in order to understand what they are trying to express. I operate from the assumption that the person is rational and has something of value to contribute (even if I have to dig for it). This means that I deliberately ask questions and listen to what the person is saying.

The bottom line is that there is a genuine attitude of respect in the interaction, which is the necessary basis for establishing and developing trust. Think of trust as an oak tree. You have to plant the acorn, then nurture the seedling until the tree develops a sturdy trunk. Trust is developed over time. Respect is the seed you have to plant./>/>

Because talking is one of the most visible things a leader does, what advice do you offer for making the most of their conversations?

Occasionally leaders are required to hold important and/or difficult conversations. But an effective leader holds seemingly “inconsequential” conversations at any given time of any given day.

When it comes to important or difficult conversations, any leader who fails to prepare really does prepare to fail. Overcoming Fake Talk introduces skills for holding any conversation and a process for using those skills. They can all be distilled into three points that should become second nature to leaders:

1. Become aware of your assumptions. Most of us are unaware our assumptions about other people and the situations in which we encounter them. Take the time to clarify your assumptions about people and their performance. This will help you determine whether your thinking is even accurate—and it will become more accurate if you can identify evidence or specific facts that support your assumptions.

For example, let’s assume that an employee consistently turns in reports late. You may assume that this person is lazy, an assumption that would naturally color your interactions with them. However, if you ask yourself whether you have data that absolutely supports the “lazy” label, you might realize that you do not. If you look objectively, you may find that the person is always waiting for missing or late information, which in turn affects their production of the report. Or perhaps you have an internal IT problem that gets in the way of delivering the report. The bottom line is that if you do not take time to explore the evidence you have, your thinking may be wildly inaccurate and sabotage the entire working relationship.

2. Keep your end goal in mind. Ask yourself, “What is the purpose for holding this conversation?” I often say that effective leaders think about their own thoughts. If you don’t know what you want, then it doesn’t matter much what you say, because you are unlikely to get any effective results. You need to be very specific and clear about your intent for holding the conversation.

3. Once you have clarified your assumptions and identified your intent, then you’re ready to hold the conversation.

I recommend a four-step process for holding any difficult conversation: Initiate, Discover, Connect, and Build. These four steps allow you to describe the current situation, gain understanding, connect with the individual’s perspective, and build accountability in creating the outcome you desire.

What can leaders do to help make the principles and practices you advocate become the “default” or automatic behaviors in their organizations?

First you have to learn and internalize the skills and processes for holding REAL conversations. Second, you need to teach those same skills and processes to members of your team. Finally, you need to work together to create a culture where you deliberately demonstrate and practice the skills that lead to increased candor, collaboration, and contribution in achieving results.

Practice, practice, practice to make it permanent.

Rodger Dean Duncan is the bestselling author of CHANGE-friendly LEADERSHIP: How to Transform Good Intentions into Great Performance. Follow him on Twitter @DoctorDuncan

Source: Forbes Business

 
Update
2

2 days ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a new company ( ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 
Update
1

3 days ago

MAS posts loss of RM307m for Q2

Aug 28 2014 5:00pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 29, 2014 1:13 AMMALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) registered a loss of RM307 million (S$122 million) for the second quarter to end-June, but warned of worse to come in the second half when the "full financial impact of the double tragedies of MH370 and MH17" h ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Nigeria to get Japanese drug for Ebola treatment
Abuja, Sep 2 (IANS) Nigeria will soon get a Japanese drug to treat Ebola, the country's Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said Monday.
 
 
Japan to aid connectivity upgrade in northeast India
Tokyo, Sep 1 (IANS) India and Japan Monday decided to strengthen cooperation for improving connectivity and socio-economic development in northeastern states of India.
 
 
Three Ebola cases recorded in Nigeria oil hub
Abuja, Sep 1 (IANS) At least three cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) have been recorded in Nigeria's oil hub of Port Harcourt, where a fatality was confirmed last week, the country's Minister of Health Onyebuchi Chukwu said here Monday.
 
 
India, Japan to elevate strategic partnership
Tokyo, Sep 1 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday said relations with Japan were of the "highest priority" for his government and announced a slew of initiatives, including turning the strategic partnership into a "special" partnership and a fast-track channel for Japanese investors.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Three executed in Yemen for having US links
Aden, Sep 2 (IANS) Three people have been executed by militants in Yemen Monday for having links with the United States, a military source said. "Suspected Yemen-based Al Qaida operatives kidnapped three local...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Lena Dunham condemns naked photo leak
Los Angeles, Sep 2 (IANS) Actress-writer Lena Dunham has condemned a mystery hacker who leaked nude photographs of celebrities, including actress Jennifer Lawrence. Lawrence hit headlines Sunday when intimate snaps of...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Three children, teacher killed in China school stabbing
Beijing, Sep 2 (IANS) A stabbing spree in a Chinese school has left three children and a teacher dead Monday. Chen Yanfu, 43, who was upset that his daughter was not allowed to register at the school, rampaged through...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Jennifer Aniston eases exercise regime
Los Angeles, Sep 2 (IANS) Actress Jennifer Aniston, who admits she's "eased up" her workout regime, says it's important to take time off from working hard in the gym to simply enjoy life sometimes. The 45-year-old,...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Nigeria to get Japanese drug for Ebola treatment
Abuja, Sep 2 (IANS) Nigeria will soon get a Japanese drug to treat Ebola, the country's Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said Monday. The drug named Favipiravir and developed by a subsidiary of Fujifilm Holdings in...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Miley Cyrus: The internet is more damaging than drugs
Miley Cyrus thinks the internet ''hurts your brain'' more than drugs. The 21-year-old singer believes social media - such as Facebook and Instagram - causes more damage to your mental health than smoking cannabis. She...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Britney Spears in contact with ex-boyfriend from 6 years ago
Britney Spears is reportedly in contact with her ex-boyfriend from six years ago. The 'Piece of Me' hitmaker only split from her beau David Lucado last week after it emerged he'd allegedly cheated on her and now the...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Joan Rivers may end up 'as a vegetable' or in 'wheelchair'
Joan Rivers' doctors fear she may end up ''as a vegetable'' or ''needing a wheelchair'' after she suffered a cardiac arrest last week. The 81-year-old comedienne's relatives are reportedly preparing themselves for the...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kate Upton will 'pursue anyone' who shares naked photos of her
Kate Upton's lawyer will ''pursue anyone'' who shares naked pictures of her. Nude photographs of the 22-year-old model were reportedly leaked online after her mobile phone's online storage system iCloud was allegedly...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
'Ukrainian conflict has escalated into war'
Kiev, Sep 1 (IANS) Ukrainian Defence Minister Valeriy Geletey Monday said the conflict in eastern Ukraine between government troops and pro-independence insurgents has escalated into a "war". "A great war came at our...
Read more on Politics Balla