Ever been on a phone call, in a conversation or in a meet-ing
and realized the conversation is unclear, or not working?
Humans often go into conversations thinking about what
they want to say rather than first thinking about what the
listener is willing to hear. Communication is a two-way street, yet
it is not always treated that way. Since communication requires
that another person is listening, it really doesn’t matter what is be-ing
said if no one is listening.
One simple, deliberate practice can increase influence. Ask an
“What do you want to make sure happens in this phone call/
meeting – what matters most to you?”
Here are a few examples of how this context-setting question
can work in a conversation.
EXAMPLE #1: A TYPICAL SALES CALL
“Hi, Joe. We scheduled this call to discuss outsourcing talent educa-tion.
What do you want to make sure happens in this phone call?”
There are various possible responses to that question. Think of how
differently a salesperson would respond to each of these responses:
■■ Can you run a retreat next Monday?
■■ We are currently using ABC training. What is different about
■■ We have never outsourced before, and I’m not convinced it is
the right thing to do.
■■ We have a small budget. What are your fees?
■■ I have no idea who you are or what you do.
Each of the responses above shifts what the influencer should
say. If the salesperson speaks first, he or she is relying on luck
WITH ONE QUESTION
MAKING SURE PEOPLE FEEL UNDERSTOOD IS KEY
By Christina Harbridge
HRPROFESSIONALNOW.CA ❚ MAY 2017 ❚ 31