You can’t just sit back and expect good things to fall into your lap. We all know it takes effort. In many situations, getting what you want also requires someone else – perhaps a coworker or prospect or maybe even a stubborn family member – to take action. I told KARE 11 viewers not to sit back and wait for someone else to make their move. To get what you really want, you need to communicate with influence. Here’s how:
- Defuse the situation. We often let ourselves believe we’re at the mercy of another person: If they don’t want to pay our invoice, then we’re out the money; If they don’t want to talk to us, then we’re stuck. The truth is: They’re only in control if you let them be. This thinking can even prevent us from going after what we really want.
Message Maven advice: You can’t think clearly when you feel attacked or wronged. So, take a moment to cool down and gain a little perspective. This is the secret to defusing the situation. The clients I’ve worked with over the past seventeen years know this advice can help you craft a message that will actually be heard.
- Use a copy bible. How you communicate absolutely matters. And too often, people try to wing it. They go into a situation, open up their mouths and hope for the best. Smart influencers pre-plan their words. They use a copy bible. This is a collection of precrafted messages about you for you to use anytime, whether you’re online, in person or on the phone.
Message Maven advice: You may ramble if you’re unprepared. And the more you say, the muddier your message will get. Or you may be at a loss for words. A copy bible helps you be clear and concise. A straightforward message makes it easier for your listeners to say yes, even if they originally were going to say no.
- Chose the right communication vehicle. Eighty percent of American adults communicate via text messages. Young adults send about 109 text messages a day! And there are 205 billion emails sent daily. But these convenient forms of communication aren’t the best choices for influencing behavior. It’s too easy to hide behind the cyber wall.
Message Maven advice: The more difficult the issue, the more in-person you should be. When you’re face to face with someone, you can use your tone of voice and body language as well as your words to influence their behavior. When being in-person isn’t feasible, make a phone call.
Pro tip: If the situation is particularly difficult and you’re worried about delivering a clear message, you can use a tool called slydial. Slydial enables you to connect directly to someone’s voicemail without them knowing you’ve even called. You simply punch in their cell phone number and immediately get connected to their voicemail. Their phone doesn’t ring. They don’t have a missed call. They just see they have a voicemail from you. This helps you deliver the perfect, uninterrupted and winning message.
- Avoid emotionally charged words. Words and phrases such as “hate”, “demand” and “ax to grind” only ignite controversy and prevent you from getting what you want. Crude language and name-calling tactics cause listeners to shut down. This reduces the likelihood that your message will be heard and acted upon.
Message Maven advice: If you want people to engage, speak considerately. You don’t have to walk on eggshells. You can be to-the-point, just do it without any character bashing. Take it from this behind-the-scenes message fixer, you’ll never get what you want throwing around colorful language.