My client heads the marketing/communication department of a huge hospital system. We are working on her presentation to her top administrators and physicians about their new hospital in a Dallas suburb.
She asked, “Karen, did you realize you used the word “AND”, and not the word “BUT” in our “Call to Action” at the end?
“Yes,” I said. “Try to use ‘AND’ and not ‘BUT’ in any sentence. You set yourself up for agreement vs. controversy.”
Here’s her “Call to Action” both ways. Which one do you think will get more positive traction?
“Our focus groups and research show that this ad campaign will resonate in this market. AND your support is critical in pushing this initiative forward. We ask for your support!”
“Our focus groups and research show that this ad campaign will resonate in this market. BUT your support is critical in pushing this initiative forward. We ask for your support!”
“What a great suggestion,” my client replied. “Whenever I hear the word ‘BUT’, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.”
This one word change creates a subtle shift of messaging… in a positive direction.
Use the word “AND” vs. “BUT” to morph potential controversy into agreement at your next board meeting, quarterly team report, or negotiating with your prospects.
How about a corporate retreat at Star Ranch? Call us!
Karen Cortell Reisman, M.S., author of 3 books and President of Speak For Yourself®, works with decision makers on how to speak to make more money. It’s all in how you speak for yourself. Karen also speaks about her cousin, Albert Einstein, in a message about hope, resilience and brassieres.
Karen and her husband own Star Ranch – open for corporate retreats – 100 miles west of Dallas.
Our chickens at Star Ranch continue to be eggstipated. ONE chicken is doing all the work and the others are just running around clucking.
Does this remind you of your office dynamics? Everyone looks busy while only a few make the eggs happen.
The Change Agent.
So we bought more chickens (since our last blog about this eggistential crisis) that have resulted in a chicken brawl. Everyone is vying for power; but, alas, no egg production. There really is a pecking order.
Sometimes your organization may seem like a brood of chickens running around clucking and pecking without purpose, goals and direction. Here are four ways to transform your teams.
Define. As leaders, you must define and articulate what makes for success. What are your goals? What do you expect from your EVPs, different business units, supply chain? Think, strategize and communicate your vision clearly.
Listen. Information talks and wisdom listens. If your teams are underperforming, ask questions. Then, shut up and listen. Discern the nuance.
Align. Effective teams are aligned on values and foundation that share a common mission. Your goal is to create teams with trusted relationships.
Accountability.Metrics to use for accountability can include Checkpoint 360®, ProfileXT®, and Everything DiSC®, and Speak For Yourself®’s leadership and team development training can facilitate with these performance tools. Click here to find out more.
Our goal for your organization is to improve your people and culture. And, to produce more eggs.
Karen Cortell Reisman, M.S., author of 3 books and President of Speak For Yourself®, works with decision makers on how to speak with gravitas. It’s all in how you speak for yourself. Karen also speaks about her cousin, Albert Einstein, in a message about hope, resilience and brassieres.
To lead your organization, gain more traction with your board, or increase your shares in your market space – you MUST embrace the last two words of that sentence as well: “and trust”.
Trust. The bottom line for sustaining long term business relationships.
Here’s how to communicate trust:
Knowledge. Your team, prospects, and board of directors need to know that you know. You share your knowledge through the way you communicate.
Attitude. You do not need to be an extroverted cheerleader. You can be an introvert and be a strong communicator that creates a trusting environment. What you must do: show that you care through your words and with your actions.
Confidence. Your confidence shows up with your nonverbal behavior. Have effective eye contact. Stand tall. Sit tall. Smile. Don’t fidget. Give strong handshakes. Wear attire that fits the occasion.
Integrity. The definition of integrity: “being honest and having strong moral principles.” You communicate integrity by holding yourself to a consistent set of values/standards. You show up on time. You “do the right thing” even when no one is looking. You are dependable. You respect others and you respect yourself.
All four of these Trust Factors need to work in tandem in order to communicate trust. You can be confident, have a passionate attitude, and prove your integrity; but you lack knowledge. End game – no trust. Similarly, you have knowledge, positive attitude and confidence; but no integrity. End game – no trust.
Your Speak For Yourself® Challenge: You get the picture. Incorporate all four factors = high Trust Factor.
Don’t you hate “out of the office” email responses? They are always the same.
“I will be out of the office from This Date to That Date with limited time internet access. In case of an emergency, or any urgent issues, please feel free to contact XYZ.”
How NOT unique! Try these tips to make you memorable.
1) Humanize the normally mechanical message.
2) Make it funny.
Try something like this!
“I am currently out of the office on vacation.
I know I’m supposed to say that I’ll have limited access to email and won’t be able to respond until I return – but that’s not true. My blackberry will be with me and I can respond if I need to.
That said, I promised my wife that I am going to try to disconnect, get away and enjoy our vacation as much as possible. I’m going to leave the decision in your hands:
If your email truly is urgent and you need a response while I’m on vacation, please resend it to interruptyourvacation@[redacted].com and I’ll try to respond to it promptly.
If you think someone else at [the company] might be able to help you, feel free to email my assistant, and she’ll try to point you in the right direction.
· Otherwise, I’ll respond when I return. Warm regards,
It’s hard to get annoyed. In fact, you can’t help but respect George.
Here are a couple more great examples!
“I will be on vacation from Wednesday through Wednesday (inclusive), and will not be checking my e-mail. Seriously. I don’t even have a cell phone with e-mail capabilities.
Please do not panic, stampede or otherwise become fretful. There are other [department] minions available to do your nefarious bidding; make them work while I’m out of town goofing off. If you would prefer to receive extremely belated technical assistance, I will be back next Thursday.
Please Note: Larger denomination bribes and/or larger quantities of canned goods or other non-perishable (but tasty) food items will receive priority treatment.”
“Your fearless leader is out of the office today, but has left his trusted henchmen to watch you carefully. They are instructed to respond to any questions in the usual slow, evasive and ineffectual manner. And for those who do not trust the answers, watch for them on ‘Jeopardy’ this evening.”
Obviously, different types of messages are appropriate for different work settings. Knowing your audience and your company and how these ideas will go over is an important thing to consider when mixing it up.
You will face situations in which you must mingle with others in a professional setting whether at an event, a conference, or a holiday party. These settings can be daunting for even the most skilled small talkers. Today, we ask Karen for her advice/best practices on how to work a room and make meaningful small talk at an event.
Q: Karen, what is a good way to open a conversation with somebody else at an event?
A: Find some way to compliment the person.
Q: Would you say that there are topics that you should avoid?
A: Yes. Know the culture of the company or group you’re networking with. You don’t want to discuss anything taboo.
Q: Many people say that they are too shy or socially awkward to make small talk. What advice do you have for them?
A: Introverts are at a disadvantage here. Try attending these events with a friend. Separate for a while to mingle, but plan a time to regroup with your ally for moral support. Also, be the question asker. The other person usually loves talking about their favorite subject – themselves.
Q: Are there any faux pas that you’ve seen that you think could be easily avoided?
A: Making assumptions will cause you to have Titanic Moments. For example, NEVER ask a woman if she’s pregnant unless her water has broken! Never assume that a couple is actually a couple! Never assume that someone is someone else’s mother when that person could be the other person’s spouse. Never assume anything! Just ask questions and let the other guy do the talking.