observations about being better at leadership, sales and negotiation

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 link page: Leadership and Management Development
this page is: Bruce Wilson's Notebook

In this section:
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  Articulating what's on your mind and what's on other people's minds improves everybody's choices

Welcome! This is Notebook entry #2 dated March 30, 2005

Bruce Wilson's notebook

Bruce Wilson's Notebook

Topics in order of date:

link page: The one page (two sided) consensus tool "cheat sheet"
  - June 6, 2006 -

link page: Reaching Consensus -- using a five degree consensus scale
  - May 25, 2006 -

link page: Balancing cost and quality in decision-making
  - March 29, 2006 -

link page: Too much talk, not enough action: how to switch it around
  - March 3, 2006 -

link page: When to use Consensus for decision making
  - December 8, 2005 -

link page: See the complete list of entries for Bruce Wilson's Notebook (15 total)

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To be articulate is to be clear. And by clear I mean that you understand what you are saying, the person you are communicating with understands what you are saying, and the understanding you have and the understanding they have match pretty closely. (By way of contrast, one of the reasons why computers need their own languages to operate is because most of what human beings say in ordinary language isn't particularly clear -- it can't be taken literally.)

Articulating what we are thinking, observing, feeling, and requesting from someone can be more difficult, frustrating, and irritating than we would like.

Effective leaders, sellers, and negotiators go one step further: they are not only skilled at articulating their own thoughts, they are skilled at articulating what others are trying to say, whether or not what they are saying is particularly clear to begin with. Being able to accurately and helpfully articulate what someone else is putting forward not only helps you understand them and gives them the feeling that you understand them (with the respect that entails), it actually helps them understand themselves.

Very often -- or so those skilled at articulation say -- people change their minds after hearing themselves say out loud what they are trying to say. It helps them become clear about their own observations, perceptions, feelings and wants. Which is why it behooves someone who strives to be a good leader, seller, or negotiator to focus both on clarity in what they say and on clarifying what others say to them.

For further reading: Vancouver B.C. consultant and professor Gervase Bushe's book entitled "Clear Leadership" may be a challenge for the average business reader because of its detailed references to psychological theory, but its explanation of the whys and hows of articulate communication is unmatched.

I'll create a link here when I have time to post the simple steps I recommend to my clients who want to be articulate and facilitate what others are trying to say.

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