How to Be a Better...Communicator (How 2) by Sandy McMillan

By Sandy McMillan

McMillan encourages readers to enhance their verbal and written conversation talents through interactive workouts.

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As an old friend used to say, ‘If you only know what you know then you have inadequate information’. Also, it is the person asking questions who controls the direction of the 29  How to be a better communicator  conversation. Which means, of course, that the junior or less powerful person can control a situation by asking the right questions. More about this in Chapter 3, when we look at situations in detail. The essential difference is between the closed question, which gets a single fact, or a Yes/No answer; and the open question, which encourages the other person to talk.

Ask questions at times you have pre-set during the talk? (better) Ask questions any time? (best, if you can handle this)  Discuss things with you? Each other? In a group? ) Decide what you want them to do for this talk and write it down now. What do you want them to do at the end, or later? This is your chance to check if you have got through. If you ask them to do something, and they do it, then the talk has been successful. If you chicken out of asking them clearly to do anything, then you may never know if it worked.

And when you have, try summarising it accurately to the person before thanking them and going away. 34 3 FACE TO FACE WHAT’S TRICKY FOR YOU? This chapter builds on the last one. Here is a list of potentially tricky situations. How awkward each one is for you probably depends on who you are with, so you have to consider being with people senior to you, colleagues on the same level and people junior to you. Tick the situations you can handle well; put a cross against the ones you have not yet learnt how to handle well.

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