10 things communicators don’t know about experts (& vice versa)

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For the National Cancer Institute's Public Affairs Network conference in Denver in 2013, this talk focuses on how cancer communicators can better understand the experts with whom they work--and vice ...

For the National Cancer Institute's Public Affairs Network conference in Denver in 2013, this talk focuses on how cancer communicators can better understand the experts with whom they work--and vice versa--by examining more closely experts' default communications styles and personality preferences, so they can work with, not agai

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10 things communicators don’t know about experts (& vice versa) 10 things communicators don’t know about experts (& vice versa) Presentation Transcript

  • things communicators don’tknow about experts(& vice versa)Insights for the PAN-NACCDO Conference, Denver 2013Denise Graveline@dontgetcaught communications consulting
  • Let’s make a listWhat’s a word you would useto describe the experts youwork with?What’s a word those expertswould use to describe you?(I like “you people.”)
  • 1. Know how to explain theexpert’s default style ofcommunications, & how to flip it
  • 2. Know the expert’s commonpersonality type: ISTJ Your experts may vary Most common type forresearchers and SMEs Introverted Sensing Thinking Judging Shapes their defaultbehaviors & communications
  • 3. Their stress looks like non-cooperation—or worse--to you. Myers-Briggs personalitypreferences include usefulsection on how typesbehave in times of greatstress So what cancommunicators do toreduce the expert’s stressand improve cooperation?
  • …and it looks like this:Negative, pessimisticWithdraw or resistBlame/accuse othersObsess aboutproblemsTalk too much orclam upLose control of factsand detailsCan’t come toconclusionsGet impulsiveCatastrophize…all bad things foran expert in public
  • 4. “Busy” is the excuse, but it’sabout control of the schedule. You’ll hear “I’m too busy”less often if you think abouthow to help your expertprepare, train andanticipate what’s going tohappen Acknowledgecommunicating is “outsidethe box” Stems from the sensingtraits of personality
  • 5. Last minute=disorganized &interruptions=bad How experts seecommunicators Something as simple asadvance notice, time toprep, discussion aboutwhen last-minute requestshappen can work wonders
  • 6. Expertise is important to them,but they don’t know about yoursExpert: Connie, I prefer to becalled Dr.Connie: Oh, sorry. Guess youshould call me "Ms.," then.Expert: Yes, except I earnedthe "Dr."Silence.Expert: You arent tapingthis, are you?
  • 7. Experts want preparation—morethan communicators everimagine, less than they will admit.
  • 8. Your process is invisible tothem, leading to impossiblerequests. I need to see reporter’s storybefore it runs I only have 5 minutes for theinterview on my complextopic Let’s tell them to fire theheadline writerImpossible requests are a cryfor help. Give themalternatives that work betterthan these suggestions.
  • 9. Women experts, introverts = somisunderstood by most of us Women who type as“thinking” vs. “feeling” andintroverts in general areboth minorities in the U.S. Acknowledging and workingwith their preferences willmake them powerful andloyal communications allies
  • 10. No matter how much theyresist practice, experts don’t like towing it.
  • 11. Bonus: Consider the “no-asshole rule” The No Asshole Rule:Building a CivilizedWorkplace and SurvivingOne That Isnt Quantifies the cost toorganizations for toleratingjerks Consider a corporate culturethat discourages badbehavior in experts
  • “This was actually useful to me, and I don’t meanthat to sound as condescending as it’s going tosound.”--A high compliment from arecently coached scientist speaker
  • Be an Experton Working with Expertsfor communicators who work with smart people June 13 in Washington, DC Discount: Register by5/16, all registration closes5/31 Or, can I bring the workshopto you?“If you ever have theopportunity to take a workshopwith @dontgetcaught, do it!Best training Ive ever had.Informative and eye-opening.”
  • Denise GravelineThe don’t get caught blog oncommunications & socialmedia strategiesThe Eloquent Woman blogpublic speakingMedia training & speakercoachingCommunications strategiesExperts a specialty