Marion's Communication Tips
Marion Grobb Finkelstein offers practical, proven and powerful communication tips you can put to use in the workplace. She'll help you increase morale, confidence and productivity by changing the way you communicate. You'll have communication tools to connect with colleagues, clients, employees and bosses... fast!
Hour of Power
Do you know when is your "hour of power"? You might not know when it is, because you don't realize what it is, so let's start there.
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Invest one hour of your time, and I'll give you ways to change how you
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"HOUR OF POWER" IS YOUR HIGH ENERGY TIME
The "hour of power" is the time of day when you feel most energetic, most alert, and most on your game. What's yours?
This time is different for everyone. For you, it might be early morning when you hop out of bed and right into action. Or maybe you prefer to ease into your day slowly and you feel more energized as the day wears on. Perhaps you catch your stride in the afternoon, and that's when you're really in the groove. Or maybe you're more an evening person and find yourself in high form in the after-dinner or late hours of the evening.
Still not sure what hour chimes your power? Then do this: think back to the past weeks. If this wasn't a typical week for you, pick the week before. What time of day did you find you were sharpest? When were you most productive, most organized, most roaring to go?
Need some more help to define your hour? Ask yourself this: when you're on holidays or during weekends, what's your natural circadian rhythm? When are you most powered up? When does your energy flow? Figure this out, and you have a key to great communication.
YOUR HOUR OF POWER IS THE TIME TO TACKLE YOUR TOUGHEST COMMUNICATION CHALLENGES
Now that you've defined your "hour of power", you're positioned to use that information strategically. Plan to work on your toughest communication challenges when you have the most energy. It makes imminent sense. It takes brain power to solve any type of problem, including communication ones. You'll be more likely to find the solutions when you're at your sharpest. The options will come to you more readily.
Likewise, it takes energy to demonstrate control. If you're dealing with a contentious issue, doing so when you have the most energy will increase your chances of using cautious restraint, thinking with a clear head and having a positive outcome. Thanks to your hour of power.
Now you know when you are most likely to best handle tough communications. Put the odds in your favor and use the "hour of power" to best help empower you. You've got the power, and now you know where to find and how to use it. Power on!
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Until next time, here's to ...
Better communication, Better business, Better life,
Marion Grobb Finkelstein
Keynote Speaker / Corporate Trainer / Author
© 2011 Marion Grobb Finkelstein
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete tagline with it: Communication specialist, author, professional speaker Marion Grobb Finkelstein teaches individuals and organizations across Canada and beyond, how to improve morale, confidence and productivity by changing how they communicate. Chat with her at www.facebook.com/MarionSpeaks and sign up for her FREE weekly "Marion's Communication Tips" at www.MarionSpeaks.com
THE 24-HOUR RULE
Have you ever found yourself in that awkward situation where you’re disappointed, upset or angry with someone and you don’t know quite how to tell them? It happens everyday in workplaces across the country.
When a situation is especially volatile, emotions run high, and when emotions run high, people say things they probably shouldn't. When you feel threatened, attacked or think you have a lot to lose, your instinct may be to run and hide (flight) or to fight back, hard. Running away is seldom the right thing to do, though it does have its place. Perhaps putting up a fight is exactly the right response, though replying with a knee-jerk, angst-filled reaction is not. It just won't serve you well.
Susan was a manager is a large national non-profit organization. She worked very closely with other managers and was quite successful at getting things done through influence, as she had no direct authority over the divisions of her peers. She got along with everyone except one. His name was David and he was a son-of-a-gun.
David would respond to Susan's email with point-by-point lengthy rebuttals. He would cc a barrage of people on emails which appeared to Susan as though he were grandstanding in front of an audience. Instead of working collaboratively, it appeared that he fought her solid, well-presented recommendations every step of the way.
Susan's normal response was to reply politely, professionally and promptly to David's emails that came to feel like public attacks. To break the email monotony and in the hopes of making a personal connection, every now and then she picked up the phone and responded immediately verbally then followed up with a written reply. All this was taking enormous amounts of energy and time. The opportunity cost was that Susan came in early and worked late to stay on top of the rest of her workload. It was exhausting and sucked the fun out of going in to the office every day. Every time it seemed that Susan reached out to reply to David, her hand was slapped.
Then she had an epiphany: change the dance.
After too many sleepless nights, Susan realized that she could change the dynamics of her working relationship with David by changing how she responded to him. No more would she respond immediately, especially on volatile subjects. She decided she would apply the "24-hour rule". That is, she would draft or think about her response then sit on it for 24 hours before sending it. It worked. David continued dashing off detail-laden emails, several a day, and when he got no immediate response, the emails slowed down. Susan's responses were less harried, more strategic and general in nature, and the 24-hour rule gave her more time to tend to her many other duties.
Perhaps you've found yourself in a situation similar to Susan (true story, names have been changed) where you've felt pressured to respond, or you were so upset you wanted to respond immediately. Something angers you and you feel you must reply to preserve your reputation or to present your argument before a decision is made or an action taken. Sometimes time really is of the essence, though, more often, waiting a day to respond is completely reasonable.
COMMUNICATION TIP: Apply the 24-hour rule. Give yourself time before you respond.
When I was in university earning my Biz Admin degree, several decades ago (yeeks!), there was lots of speculation by the futurists and scholars about how much "spare time" we all would have in future years. Well, those future years are now here, and boy, did they have that one wrong. We're all busier than ever! And that makes communication even more challenging.
With technology, we're "plugged in" all the time. Expectations of response times have never been so high. We are being pulled in every direction and interrupted constantly with pings from our mobile devices, phone calls, social media and people knocking on our office doors with enquiries. Here's a tip that will serve you and the people you're working with:
COMM TIP: Batch, batch, batch ...more
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