Whether you’re a CEO or entering the workplace for the first time, your success depends on your ability to communicate with others. Get your conversations wrong and your career can literally career out of control.
Whether you’re communicating face-to-face, by phone, or online, there’s plenty of scope for things to go wrong… And once someone has formed a negative opinion of you, it’s hard to pull that back.
In Workstorming, Rob Kendall (pictured below) combines hard science with 25 years of personal experience to explain in straightforward and highly practical terms – using real transcripts – how you can improve your ability to have any conversation, in any circumstance, with anyone.
Kendall will help you:
● Prepare for difficult conversations so they’re successful and rewarding.
● Respond mindfully to the unexpected twists and turns of conversation: disagreement, provocation, confrontation, confusion, difficult personalities and high pressure moments; so you can keep your centre of gravity even if other people are losing theirs.
● Understand how to develop new ideas and opportunities through conversation, and turn them into effective action.
● Learn from the interactions that go well, and the ones that don’t, and have the tools to recover a relationship when it seems to be broken.
● Gain insight into the ways in which accountability, gender, culture, authority and power influence your conversations.
● Understand the key principles and practices of negotiation, small talk, effective meetings and dealing with difficult individuals.
● Learn how to avoid upset and confusion as you switch between face-to-face interactions, phone, email, online chat and text.
Workstorming is an essential survival manual for working in the information age.
Extract: HOW WORK IS LINKED TO CONVERSATION
“The Oxford English Dictionary defines conversation as: ‘A talk, especially an informal one, between two or more people, in which news and ideas are exchanged.’ For most of human history, talk required people to be within direct hearing distance, but that’s all changed. The invention of the telephone is spectacularly modern in the context of 200,000 years of human history, and the period since the development of the worldwide web barely registers on the human time-chart, even though it’s revolutionized the way we communicate. As long as it’s a two-way exchange, talk can now be conducted face-to-face, via phone, email, online chat or text. For example, I treat two-way email correspondence in Workstorming as a conversation in which the person writing the email can be seen as the speaker and the person receiving it as the listener.
I’ve asked thousands of people what percentage of their average working day is taken up with conversation via one channel or another, and the answer is usually well above 50 per cent. If you’re a teacher, or work in a customer-facing role or manage a team, you may say that it’s closer to 90 per cent. Either way, your skill at speaking and listening will define your success. If you have a specialist technical job, conversation may not feature greatly in your working day. For example, artists in the visual-effects industry wear headphones and stare at computers in darkened rooms. But even they aren’t sealed off from interacting with others; they need to clarify the scope of their work, raise problems with their producers and discuss their prospects for a pay rise. What’s more, let’s imagine that one of them is doing an excellent job and is asked to manage a WORKSTORMING 16 team. The percentage of time she spends in conversation will transform overnight.
In short, conversation affects us all at work and the success of any enterprise is largely determined by the quality of our interactions.”