During a recent series of training days across the country a common theme emerged. It was that the two things that people found most challenging when engaging face to face was to a) talk about things in a manner that all stakeholders can understand and b) stop talking and listen. As experts in our field these are often the two topics that people find the toughest.
Here are a few tips to help:
- To simplify your words:
- Write down your typical explanation of the problem. Does it use jargon or acronyms?
- Hand it over to somebody who doesn’t work on the project. Do they get it?
- Are there simpler words you can use to replace the current ones?
- Learning to listen:
- Write down notes to really take in what the other person is saying.
- Check back with them, “I believe you are saying…..”
- Don’t use listening as a chance to reload your argument.
- At first seek to understand.