We are members of the Arizona Association for Economic Development and handle the public relations for the organization as well. Scott and I were asked to make a brief presentation at their monthly luncheon on tips to being a better communicator. The December luncheon is also a festive event with a holiday raffle to benefit a nonprofit in the community.
So to help me make the presentation, Scott stepped aside and Santa joined me at the podium.
So in David Letterman style…here’s our naughty and nice list
Santa/Scott – Ho Ho Ho. Hello girls and boys…I hope you’ve all been good this year. Santa has his list and has certainly checked it twice. Abbie, let’s see what’s on your list.
How many times have you heard someone say this or read this in an article about communication skills? How hard is it to actually do it when you’re “in the moment?” Harder than it sounds. It’s hard to put aside our point for the moment and just listen. We’re often so afraid of not being heard, we rush to keep talking. Ironically, such behavior makes it all the more likely we won’t be heard.
Santa: When Rudolph talks, I always listen. After all, he’s the one leading the pack.
You might have stopped talking for the moment, but your head is still swirling with all of the things you want to say, so you’re still not really hearing what is being said.
Santa: Mrs. Claus is always telling me that she talks but I don’t really hear her. I better work on that one.
Most of our communication with one another isn’t so much about what we say, but how we say it. Nonverbal communication is your body language, the tone of your voice, its inflection, eye contact, and how far away you are when you talk to someone else. Think about the last time you presented to a group, did you pay attention to how they were reacting to your presentation? Did you adjust what you were saying?
Santa: We see that a lot in my workshop. The elves aren’t very talkative, but they sure make their points known with a quick eye roll or two.
If you really want to get to the heart of the matter, you have to ask questions that lead to good answers. Probe a little more until you really get to what’s important.
Santa: That’s right girls and boys. I never accept a yes or no answer. Even if you are on the naughty list, I want to know what you’re going to do to get back on the nice list.
Be the person in the room that connects one person to the other. It doesn’t all have to be about what you can from the relationship. Think about what you can do to assist someone else. Chances are, the favor will be returned.
Santa: And you’ll stay on my nice list…(chuckles). Here are a couple of tips to stay off my naughty list….