I want to talk to you about the subject which I think it’s very important and that is communication, and specifically what I believe to be, if not the number one tool in my armoury when I’m talking to people.
I’ve been very blessed, as many of you know, to be able to travel the world and to articulate and talk in front of massive audiences, but also one to ones, done lots of coaching and mentoring people over the years and the thing that often I get asked a question about is, what do I do to really make my communication effective?
What’s the thing I would do more than anything else if I had a choice, what would be one tool?
If you run a business. If you are an investor. If you happen to be a parent. If you are in a job or seeking to climb the corporate ladder doing any sort of communication with anybody, this is a massive tool, you have to learn to develop and work with, and that is the tool of asking questions.
Now I can tell you I’ve been very blessed and privileged to be able to take people back from the edge of suicide I mean, literally, people have been right on the brink of just walking away and that’s it.
But equally I’ve been able to work with people just having challenges with a relationship or health challenges and people have come through on the property training that I run and just caught in a conflict between which direction to go next in which strategy to go next.
They may have taken the journey to a certain extent but need to know where to go, what steps to take, or not knowing the answer to a particular situation.
There are so many different variations on this over the years one of the things I discovered is that poor communicators often do not ask the right questions. In my communication system there are 38 components of communication and most people think communication is just speaking.
That’s a tiny part of the whole big picture and inside those components is the subject of language and asking questions and having the right armoury in your toolkit to make sure you’re asking the right questions.
People ask me, is there a formulaic approach? Yes, there are the four W’s.
Those are what, which, wide and watch.
First of all, the most important thing to ask yourself, in any communication you have, you can even use this tool to some extent if you are delivering remotely. You may have to allow for a delayed response when using this tool, but the key thing is to ask the question, what is the result, outcome that you want to get from this particular contact, communication, meeting, presentation, dialogue, intimate talk, interview whatever situation you are going into.
In my mind, I need to be at the end of the conversation and picturing how it looks and feels. Once you know what your outcome is you’ve then got to decide which are the appropriate questions and which responses do you want to elicit from the other person?
Illicit meaning to extract from somebody now in the years that I learnt coaching, which is 20, 25 years ago I discovered one thing, most people don’t know actually when they’re in the middle of something they don’t know what the right answer is. You might ask the question, but they don’t know the right answer because you’re the one controlling the conversation.
So the more you have the ability to steer the conversation there will be a point where they kind of understand where you’re taking it, but in the early stages of the conversation they may not.
This is your opportunity to really use phenomenal tools and I mean these are life changing, these will earn you hundreds of thousands of pounds millions if you go into speak. If you learn to do this right it will generate millions of pounds in your business.
Because if you get your customers to understand your questions and your questions steer them in the right direction it gives them the incentive to buy. The biggest pain for you of course if you get this wrong it will cost you hundreds of thousand pounds in revenue for business lost money from your angels, if you’re dealing with angel investors.
If it comes to relationships and family, possibly relationship breakdown and haven’t had a great connection for years because you didn’t ask the right questions, you didn’t learn to master this part of communication.
I’m asking myself what I want to get out of this? Which are the right questions? What do I want to get from them in order for me to take it down the right direction? Then it becomes too wide.
You go with wide questions. I mean, broad questions. It’s an open-ended question. You mention about the fact that you were wanting to change direction in your career, so what’s driven you to that point? That is a wide question and I’m asking that question because one of the things I want to get out of that conversation is what their pain is.
My result will give them a lot more pleasure and a lot more motivation, so I want to find out what the motivation is. I don’t ask specifically about what it is you want to do that’s too narrow, I go back in reverse and say what’s led you to this point where we are making this decision now.
That is a huge question, it could take me down any number of corridors and of course those corridors I don’t need to worry which one is because they’re going to tell me by what they say next.
What they say next is communicating with their eyes, their breathing, smile, the words they.
Watch a person and you’ll see the clues they give away we’re looking for those close and those clues say don’t go in that door, don’t go in that door, go in that door there.
These are the skills we develop as an effective communicator.
Have a play with that.