Fed up with digressions, diversions and delays? These tactics will help you keep your conversations on-topic.
Have a clear purpose
Sometimes conversations get side-tracked because people don’t know why they’re talking in the first place. Prepare for the conversation beforehand. What must be covered? What outcomes do you want? Note down the crucial points. Tell the other person your purpose early on.
Your time is precious. Here’s how to reclaim it from the timewasters.
Does someone you work with bore you to tears with twenty minute monologues? Frequently interrupt you by stopping by your desk for a quick chat that goes on forever? Being sociable at work is great. But if you resent your time being taken up by over-talkers, these tips might come in handy.
Good intentions are often scuppered by a poor choice of words.
Focussing on the issue rather than the person is a good start to resolving conflict. Here are some tips for doing this.
More ‘I’, less ‘You’
Sentences which start with ‘you’ often sound like an attack. Reframe sentences into ‘I’ statements to make them less personal and accusing. Say ‘I feel angry when meetings start late’. Avoid saying ‘you are always late’ or ‘I’m angry because you are late’ (a ‘you’ sentence thinly disguised).
Carla has just been promoted. Now she’s supervising a newly restructured customer service team. But it’s clear not everyone is happy with the changes that have been made. Carla’s new team is in conflict.
Carla needs to get her team back on track quickly. Here’s how we’d help Carla deal with this problem. You can use the same strategies to improve your team’s performance or rebuild your team after a period of significant change.
Have you ever worked in a team full of complaining or negative people? If you have, you know the impact negative language can have on team relationships. Great teams speak positively. Here are some tips on how to follow this example.