SECRETS OF HAPPINESS WHILE YOU’RE WORKING: PART FOUR

Get people to hear and respond to your needs

by Doris Helge, Ph.D. © 2012

 
Many people you work with have the attention span of a two-year old sitting in an uncomfortable chair at a finance committee meeting. On a good day, you have less than 30 seconds to grab the attention of people who can meet your needs. Then you have only a few minutes to convince them to make a commitment and follow through. Discover the secrets of gaining the support you need, without struggle.

EXERCISE ONE: GAIN CLARITY

Be crystal clear what you want to accomplish. Separate your true requirements from your wish list. This will keep you on track. Write down your specific intention, using the win-win language we discussed in Part Three of this series. The examples below will help you design your statement.

Examples:

“I need advance training in the new software so I can get my workload done faster, easier and with less stress. This will also help me be more accurate.”

“I need funding to attend the event so I can gain ten new clients.”

Notice that both examples are so clear that you can easily identify the person’s specific need and the benefits for The Greater Good.

EXERCISE TWO: SHARE BENEFITS WITH A KEY PERSON

Identify the specific people you need to speak to. Practice how you’ll capture their attention, using the win-win WIIFT (what’s in it for them) approach.

Find a good time to ask your listeners(s) for what you need. When will they be the least distracted by other demands?

Emphasize specific benefits they will gain by helping you. How can you make their work easier or more effective? Can you help them gain positive recognition?

EXAMPLES OF ASKING FOR A RESOURCE

“As soon as you make the XYZ resource available, I’ll be able to complete ___________.”

“With additional training, I’ll be able to produce at least 10 percent more within three months. That will cut our outsourcing bill.”

“The new clients I gain will give our organization the competitive edge we need to place us in the top category.”

“I’ve accomplished a lot during the last six months. I’ll be able to accomplish even more when . . . “

This approach is short and sweet. It requires no begging. Just stick with “Here’s what I need and here are the benefits you’ll receive.”

EXERCISE THREE: COUNTER OBJECTIONS

Anticipate criticisms of your proposal so you can address objections directly and early. This will significantly boost your credibility.

Honesty will always be one of your most powerful tools. It builds trust.  Even when other people don’t like what you say, they’ll trust and respect you because they’ll know where you stand. Eventually, you’ll be able to take the results of this credibility to the bank.

If you sense a negative response to your request but you don’t know why, act like a detective. Tactfully ask questions and sincerely listen without becoming defensive. (Curiosity will be your best friend.)

Instead of adamantly proclaiming, “This is what we should do!” ask questions that encourage your listener to consider your idea. “What do you think of this idea?” is an open-ended question that says, “I value your opinion.”

Vary open-ended and closed questions to your advantage. Usually, an open-ended question, such as “What do you think about this?” is preferable. You’ll receive a more complete answer than a question that can be answered with a single word, like “Yes” or “No.” If you lack the ability to direct a conversation to your advantage or if time is short, use closed questions.

LESS IS MORE

In the world of high-stakes communication, less is usually more.  Use pauses rather than feeling compelled to speak quickly.  Regulate your body language and eye contact to demonstrate that you’re listening attentively.  Indicate your interest by leaning forward slightly and subtly nodding your head when the other person is speaking.

You’ll be able to smoothly and ethically guide the conversation when you closely follow the other person’s interests and statements. Techniques used in improvisational theatre (known as “improv”) are helpful. Example: respectfully agree before adding a new thought.

REQUEST SPECIFIC FOLLOW THROUGH

Gain commitment while you have the other person’s attention. Example:

“Thanks in advance for getting other team members to turn in their supply requests on time. This means that everyone’s needs will be met, including yours.”

Notice: The phrase, “Thanks in advance” is a powerful motivator. It emphasizes your positive working relationship. You’re also reassuring your listener that everyone’s needs will be met, including the person they care most about (themselves).

ENJOY A BRAND NEW LEVEL OF JOY WHEN YOU’RE WORKING

To gain the happiness and success you want, you need to quickly gain the attention of the people who will purchase your services and products, provide resources or…if you work in a corporation…grant a raise or promotion. You’ll dramatically increase your joy on the job when you can quickly communicate your needs in ways that cause listeners to want to help you and counter objections. People have increasingly short attention spans, so practice proven ways to instantly engage your listener and gain the commitment and follow-through you need.

 

© 2012. Excerpted with permission from the #1 Bestselling book, Joy on the Job” by Doris Helge, Ph.D. With over 25 years of experience, award-winning, Certified Master Coach Dr. Doris, has a proven track record of helping people like you enjoy meaningful work and relationships, including powerful professional partnerships. Enjoy life-changing videos at http://CoachingByDoris.com/videos. Download your free ebooks and see client testimonials at www.FreeJoyEbooks.com. You may reprint this article as long as it remains intact and proper attribution is given.

 

You Deserve Happiness at Work! Use proven strategies that have worked for thousands of employees around the world.

Click here to learn more about the award winning book “Joy on the Job” by Doris Helge Ph.D.

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