Have you ever found yourself saying to a colleague, something like ‘please read this report’ when what you really want to say is, ‘just read the (damn) report!’
You added the ‘please’ because you’re trying to find that balance between politeness and authority, but it still sounds like a request when you’d rather it was an instruction.
Adding the word pleasecertainly keeps you in the polite zone, but it may not succinctly influence the receiver or truly enhance the effectiveness of your communication.
So how can you remain polite while sounding more authoritative?
Here are three quick wins for maximising face-to-face influence:
Breathing from the diaphragm instantly makes you sound more confident by lower your vocal pitch.
Ensure each message ends in a commanding downward inflection
Use clear, illustrative gestures that mimic the request
Combine these to stack the odds of your influence, in your favour. And add this gem which quite literally has you minding your Ps and Qs by replacing ‘could you please read this report’ with ‘could you read this report (pause) thank you’.
By adding a ‘thank you’ at the end of that request, you’ve already got them thinking about having completed the polite request! Saying ‘thank you’ is a mind trick that suggests to the listening ear, completion is a certainty.
Top tip! It’s a playground out there, have fun experimenting with these skills for more effective communication!
September always feels to me like a fresh start, a throwback to new socks, shoes and pencil cases and a renewed enthusiasm for structure after the carefree summer holidays, do you know what I mean?
This September I found a renewed enthusiasm for social media and a decision to do less, yet be more precise, with a clearer purpose of why I want to be engaging with strangers. But that world is a mire! A maelstrom of emotions driving each platform’s algorithms! And an omnipresent pressure to be popular (school day thinking again) through dramas, chaos, and vanity posts. It’s got me wondering about the challenges to stay in integrity and post with clear purpose.
Purposeis a word I like to add to my daily life anyway and encourage my clients to do the same. Great questions soon habituate such as ‘what’s the purpose of that post’?
You want to be liked and have lots of (virtual) friends?
You like the feel-good sense of validation when people (often strangers) agree with you?
You are focused on driving a sales funnel?
You get to be that ‘popular’ person?
I ask my clients:
“Who are you trying to influence and why?”
“Who is trying to influence you, and why?”
I like making new connections through social media. The world is full of interesting people doing fascinating things, but I loathe the mindless blitz of inbox pitches that arrive seconds after each new connection, especially on the business platforms.
Mostly I ignore the inbox bombardment but earlier in the month I ‘actually’ responded to an unsolicited pitch. Why? Because that person and I had previously established a business rapport through another social group that clarified our respective interests which for me, co-created permission to attempt to influence each other on said topic.
But, being connected or ‘friends’ is not a free pass and I’m staggered by the number of ‘marketing experts’ who bombard by scattergun … thus selling themselves (to me at least) as a brand of little integrity. Worse still so many blanket offers don’t even fit my world, playing some law of averages in that game ‘you’ll do’ ….
Our social media personas define our brands, and whether we like it or not, we live in a marketing web. I’m looking for authenticity and integrity, are you?
In NLP for Business, John La Valle (President of the Society of NLP) calls out ‘earning the right to influence’ and that works for me – have I earned the right to try to influence this person/these people – are we on an agreeable wavelength? Are we in rapport?’
In our Work Well model, we coach Clarity of rational thought and conscious decisions that drive the rest of the brain (emotions and actions).
So, this month’s Clarity Tip is to contemplate this key question: What are you trying to convince the world of, and are you pushing on an open door?
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