“Did I Understand You Correctly?
I Thought You Said..”
How To Conduct An Effective Meeting
By
Making Communications Work
AIM-IRS Conference
August 2008
Presented by:
Lawrence Barnes
IRS:LMSB Director of Field Operations and
Roslyn Russell
IRS: W&I – Field Assistance (CARE) Territory Manager
The words you use and how you phrase
them make an indelible impact on the
listener ........
Effective Communication

Crucial component of success as a manager

Strategies
• Non verbal communication
• Listening
• Assertive communication
Mechanics of Effective Communication:

3 Vital Communication Tools
•
Your voice
• Your ability to listen
• Your body language
Communication and Accountability

Employees look to their immediate manager
to translate organizational strategies into
actions they can take
• Improves business results
• Improves employee satisfaction and engagement

Communications must be measured
regularly and quantitatively
• A business process
 “….People need to feel connected to the overall
objectives of what the organization is doing …..

…. All levels of teams are stronger when each
person understands how they fit into the big picture .
…”
- Glenn Brome
Accountability ….and the OZ Principle
Do It


Stay “Above the Line”:
•
•
•
•
See It – Communicate Openly and Candidly
Own It –Act on Feedback I Received
Solve It – Constantly Asking “What Else Can I Do?”
Do It - Sustaining an Environment of Trust
Solve It
See It
Don’t Play the “Blame Game”
(Don’t go below the line)
• Wait and See approach
• It’s Not my Job
• Ignore/Deny
• Finger pointing
• Tell me what to do
- Partners in Leadership
Effective Communications


Technique is not enough
• Include yourself
Purpose of Meetings
• Get reaction
• Solicit commitment
-Peter Block
Including yourself ..

Determine your communication style:
• Open Door Policy
• Employees feel their opinion counts; interruptions
can be distracting
• Rather receive in writing/email rather than
conversation/voice mail
• Although provides a record, can make employees
•
feel distant
Prefer to talk individually rather than or in a group
• Individual conversation is revealing but time
consuming; group discussion is more efficient but
less detailed
Meeting Format

One - on - One

Group setting

Tele-conference
Steps for Effective Meetings




State/Present
•
Control flow
• Agenda
Ask
•
Look at Reaction (the heart of the meeting)
• Ask questions
Decide, (then) Consider/Test
•
Keep balance
• Essential aspects
• Discuss within group control
Give support
(Peter Block)
Effective Communication for
Successful Meetings

Don’t cast/imply blame
• Instead of .. “I thought you said….”
determine “Than what did you say?”
• Use active listening techniques

Approach is important
• It’s not your problem, it’s ours
• Move away from always being “in the moment”
Effective Communications includes …

Horizontal slices
• To probe for how opinion/insight varies at same
level of the organization

Vertical slices
• To understand how effectively upward
and downward communication works
• To probe for awareness
- Daly & Watkins
Effective Communication …
answers the question …..
WII – FM
(What’s in it for me?)
Effective communication builds: trust, respect
and rapport
- Glenn Brome
A good manager is a good facilitator.
Core Skills of Good Communication

Listening

Inquiry

• Hear another person
• Use thought provoking questions
Only after Listening/Inquiry:
• Feedback
• Accountability/Goal Setting
Techniques for Good Listening
(include but are not limited to …)




Summarize and Paraphrase
•
“So, the way you see this …”
Reflect Feelings
•
“I can see that this is frustrating for you.”
Use silence
Be aware of and understand non-verbal
communications
“No one ever listened themselves out of a job.”
Calvin Coolidge
Effective Listening

Requires active involvement in the process
• Demonstrate your willingness to truly understand
what the other person is saying
When Using Inquiries

Use open-ended questions

One question at a time

Follow the interest and train of thought AND
energy of the team/employee

• Thought provoking, challenging
No solutions, phrased as questions
Silence in Communications

Can be used for positive effect
• To strengthen the communication

Use gestures and expressions that
indicate a probing point
Feedback …
 One of the most challenging tasks of a
manager
 Necessary
•
•
•
•
For motivating and coaching,
Conducting performance appraisals, meetings,
Administering discipline
Being an effective mentor
 Helps employees
• Grow, develop and correct their mistakes
Feedback is …..
(Peter Block)

Non-evaluative and descriptive
• Treat group as collection of individuals
• There is always some resistance
•
•
Do not over-invest
“Be aware” of quick compliance
Effective Feedback is Assertive
(Peter Block)

Language that is:
• Descriptive
• Focused
• Specific
• Brief
• Simple
10 Common Mistakes of Giving Feedback





Judges individuals not
actions
Too vague
Speaks for others
Negative feedback gets
sandwiched between
positive messages
Exaggerated with
generalities





Psychoanalyzes motives
behind behavior
Goes on too long
Contains an implied
threat
Uses inappropriate
humor
The feedback is a
question, not a
statement
Use C.A.R.E. when Giving Feedback
 C .. Context
• State the context ( situation, environment) that preceded
the observed action
 A .. Action
• State the specific behaviors observed
 R .. Results
• State how the action effected the context, the person or
other people
 E .. Empathetically Explore
• Explore the interpretation of what happened and if any
changes are needed
Benefits of Feedback






Reduces Uncertainty
Solves problems
Builds trust
Strengthens relationships
Improves quality
A way to learn
There is an expression …
You cannot be a prophet in your own land
…. “Communication is something you
already know how to do, but need help
practicing and refining.” …
- Glenn Brome
So... What did you hear today?
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Did I Understand You Correctly? I Thought You Said..” …