Effective business communication

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Ever wanted your business communications to have more impact, and to result in action? Here's a simple structure that you can use. Find your communication preference to find out what areas of …

Ever wanted your business communications to have more impact, and to result in action? Here's a simple structure that you can use. Find your communication preference to find out what areas of communication you might overlook, or areas you might labour! Become an effective communicator by using WHY, WHAT, HOW and WHAT-IF.

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  • I’m Suzanne Hazelton. I’m a coach, trainer and author. I work with individuals and businesses helping them to thrive.
  • One thing you’ll do, or do differently as a result of this evening’s seminar


  • 1. Suzanne Hazeltonworking with individuals and teams toTHRIVE!CommunicateEffectively inBusiness
  • 2. Whistle stop tour of the next90 mins ….• We have preferences to the way wecommunicate with others – what’s yours?• To have more impact – it’s useful to developflexibility in the way you communicate (notjust using your preference)• Introducing a structure to enable yourcommunications to have impact and get heard
  • 3. As you look at the picture you might be askingyourself some questions (jot them down)Exploring the concept of ‘preference’
  • 4. How people take in informationHow they make decisions4PS – there are no right answers – people need different types of information, and maketheir decisions differently in order to come to action.
  • 5. The questions you ask might include:• Am I in the right Centrasession?• Why is there a tin of soupon this page?• What’s tomato soup got todo with training• How is she going to linksoup to facilitation?• I wonder how we might usemore pictures in ourcourses?• … none of the above!
  • 6. Your communication repertoire can beexpanded• With a communicationpreference or habit– you might ‘miss’ informationthat would be useful toothers– You might ‘over do’ someother aspects of yourcommunication
  • 7. StarterMain CourseDessertYour preference might mean you skipthe starter, but it may be important forothers …In business communications – it’s useful tocommunicate to all tastes. Aim for impact and action.
  • 8. This approach has been adaptedfrom Bernice McCarthy. She pulledtogether the work of a number ofpeople with her 4MAT system.David Kolb, Kurt Lewin + others
  • 9. ImprovementMotivation /EngagementAction ClarityCommunicate for impact and actionCommunicate in a way that people are motivated, clear on what they need to do, knowwhat action to take and have the opportunity to question / propose improvements.
  • 10. WHAT IFImprovementWHYMotivation /EngagementHOWActionWHATClarityCommunicate for impact and actionMini “what”Easy to remember:Why, What,How, What-if
  • 11. Review / otherapplicationsImprovementPurpose / Reasons /BenefitsMotivation /EngagementFirst steps / who doeswhatActionRelevant:- facts- theories- backgroundClarityWhat to include …
  • 12. WHAT IFReview / otherapplicationsImprovementWHYPurpose / Reasons /BenefitsMotivation /EngagementHOWFirst steps / who doeswhatActionWHATRelevant- facts- Theories- backgroundClarityCommunicate for impact and actionMini “what”
  • 13. As you looked at the soup picture you might beasking yourself some questions …WHAT IFI wonder howwe might usemore pictures inour courses?ImprovementWHYWhy is there atin of soup onthis page?Motivation /EngagementHOWHow is shegoing to link thisto facilitation?ActionWHATWhat’s tomatosoup got to dowith trainingClarity
  • 14. WHAT IF WHYHOW WHATJust 4 words to remember for effectivecommunicationMini “what”
  • 15. Question …• When I train this, I sometimes use an activity… would you be interested in doing it so thatyou find out your natural strengths and areasyou may wish to pay more attention to?
  • 16. Activity
  • 17. Identifying Kolb Habits• Individually take 2 mins to prepare a short “briefing”on one of the following– Office relocation– End of project party– Subject of your choice• (suggest you keep the topic simple)As a result of the briefing you’re seeking for the person to“be involved” in some way. This is a “conversation with apurpose” (not a friendly chat)
  • 18. Identifying Kolb Habits• Having prepared your briefing, work in pairs(breakout rooms)– 1st person talks– 2nd person listens, and notes down what they hear(a tick when you hear a comment for thequadrant)– Then feedback• SwapWHY?WHAT?HOW?WHAT IF?
  • 19. Review• Even knowing the quadrants … it does seem thatnaturally we find it easier to do some than others …• If you did the activity … what did you notice?• What happens if someone doesn’t communicate the:– Why– What– How– What if WHY?WHAT?HOW?WHAT IF?
  • 20. Diagnosing Communication Problems• No why … no motivation. Example fromUK corporate “don’t buy colour printcartridges”. Came across “petty” – untilthe annual spend was compared to savingjobs.• No what …. Not typically a weakness – butlack of clarity … if lots of why and how –people running round like headlesschickens• No how … ever been in meetings wherethere’s no action …. Where people talk“about” it,• No what if … where lessons aren’t applied… were no critical thinking takes place.
  • 21. OK, that’s the theory …• What questions do you have?• How do you see yourself using this?
  • 22. Objectives• Understand there are preferences in the waywe communicate which can impact youreffectiveness• Develop flexibility in the way youcommunicate (not just using your preference)• Have a structure to enable yourcommunications to have impact and get heard– and result in action
  • 23. Take a moment
  • 24. Your feedbackWhat you’d have liked different?What worked
  • 25. Reference• “Hold on, you lost me” McCarthy,May 2007
  • 26. Contact Details• suzanne@thebusinessofchange.co.uk• Blog: www.suzannehazelton.com• Web: www.thebusinessofchange.co.uk• Twitter: @SuzanneHazelton• FREE CHAPTER:http://www.johnsonfellowes.co.uk/resources/raise-your-game/
  • 27. Backup slides
  • 28. SummaryWHY?WHAT?HOW?WHAT IF?InformationBackground / dataScope / SpecModels / TheoriesReasonsPurpose - overallBenefit (you / team /business)Risks / gapsContingenciesOther applicationsMethodsProblem solving1st StepsWho’s doing whatGet things movingmotivationclarityactionimprove planMini what
  • 29. THRIVE!Coaching