The Conversation is Yours

It's easy to think of a conversation between two people as a simple natural thing.  To some degree it is, but not when it comes to a business conversation.  In business, there are many factors, a lot of subtext, and specific goals involved when communicating with another person.  How can we keep track of it all?

Here's a new rule of thumb from the blog, JustTellMeHowtoManage, "The person initiating the communication is responsible for the communication."

What exactly does this mean?  Communicating is not a one-way street.  Both parties should be responsible, right?  Yes, but it all depends on what your intentions are.  If you just want two people to throw syllables at each other then you don't need any forethought.  But in business, you want your conversations to be effective, to transfer information, and to get things done.

If you need to update your sales manager, you don't just go in and start barking.  No, you gauge their mood, how busy they are, and attitude.  Then you talk to them in the way you know they prefer.  For example, for someone who talks fast and wants concise answers, you keep it short and sweet.  For a more laid-back individual, you might do a little more small-talk than usual.

You do all of this because your goal for the conversation is for them to receive, properly process, and understand the information you're giving them.  You do this because you – as the initiator — are responsible for the communication.

The good News is that we humans tend to mimic or match other people almost automatically.  Even so, it's something to keep in mind the next time you walk down the hall to start a conversation.

Posted by George Page, Communication Specialist