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 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)

  1. 1. things communicators don’tknow about experts(& vice versa)Insights for the PAN-NACCDO Conference, Denver 2013Denise Graveline@dontgetcaught communications consulting
  2. 2. 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.”)
  3. 3. 1. Know how to explain theexpert’s default style ofcommunications, & how to flip it
  4. 4. 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
  5. 5. 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?
  6. 6. …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
  7. 7. 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
  8. 8. 5. Last minute=disorganized &interruptions=bad How experts seecommunicators Something as simple asadvance notice, time toprep, discussion aboutwhen last-minute requestshappen can work wonders
  9. 9. 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?
  10. 10. 7. Experts want preparation—morethan communicators everimagine, less than they will admit.
  11. 11. 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.
  12. 12. 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
  13. 13. 10. No matter how much theyresist practice, experts don’t like towing it.
  14. 14. 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
  15. 15. “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
  16. 16. 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.”
  17. 17. Denise GravelineThe don’t get caught blog oncommunications & socialmedia strategiesThe Eloquent Woman blogpublic speakingMedia training & speakercoachingCommunications strategiesExperts a specialty

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