As the quote to
your right suggests, communication-related problems can be difficult to diagnose… Download a free 4.0 Planning Worksheet!
Consider that if a person is a poor listener, they don’t really know what they are missing!
Similarly, if we think we are communicating in a straightforward and understandable fashion we may neglect to confirm this with our audience – consequently we will “assume” that our message was accurately received and understood. But, as George Bernard Shaw has suggested, this assumption is often an illusion.
One way to improve the reliability of our communication is to anticipate and plan its delivery; and a simple method of doing so is by using our “4.0 Planning Tool,” which is the following four questions prior to sales calls, meetings or presentations, and then recording your answers in writing (see link to free worksheet above).
- Objectives (If all goes well, what do I hope to accomplish?)
- Outcomes (What next steps will keep the process moving forward?)
- Operational Plan (What will I ask or say to achieve my goals?)
- Outstanding Benefits (Why should others listen to me?)
By the way, this habit of planning most often results in enhanced productivity for all parties as well, because by spending just a few minutes planning in advance we are usually able to identify multiple objectives for each interaction – therefore we are suddenly able to do more in less time.
This can result in a significant advantage over the course of one’s career!