As part of our overall “Thrive@Work” theme, business matters ran a series of short lunchtime workshop-style sessions, facilitated by Edwin Backler.
This is a brief report on the second and third of these:
How To Communicate Effectively With Everyone.
business matters is grateful to Anderson Strathern who hosted the second workshop and Lindsays who hosted the third – both provided tea and coffee for those attending.
The second workshop in the series was the first part of a presentation / discussion about communication and focused on understanding the Five Voices of Communication as suggested by GiANT Worldwide.
In his introduction, Eddie suggested that he was hoping to break a complex topic down and make it more easily understandable. He emphasised that all the five voices he was about to discuss have their place in an individual, a team or a meeting situation and it is important for us to be able to recognise and acknowledge what part they all play. Some may be more natural than others to us as individuals and one will be our “foundational” one. Our familiarity with, and preference for, a particular voice will be affected by how old we are; maturity tends to help us recognise the value of all the voices; the journey we take to our final position on this will be guided by nature, nurture and choice along the way.
He also emphasised the importance of paying careful attention to the definitions of the voices – understand the vocabulary if you like – and also the importance of avoiding jumping to conclusions as to what any other individual’s most important or “foundational” voice might be.
With these caveats in place, Eddie highlighted these as being:
These voices, in a meeting situation, are listed in ascending order of the volume at which they would typically be heard and for each of them, Eddie stepped through a process of
- Defining them and their characteristics
- Listing the positive outcomes they bring at their best
- Listing some of the questions that the use of that particular voice will raise
- Highlighting some perceived negative points from the use of the particular voice
He then asked those present to assess, for each voice in turn, whether they rated the voice
- Green – a voice which we are very comfortable with and would tend to default to (perhaps even regarding it as our foundational voice, the one which we would use all the time without thinking)
- Yellow – a voice that we can understand, appreciate the value that it brings to a situation and, perhaps, even utilise ourselves when the circumstances warrant or demand it
- Red – a voice that we would be deeply uncomfortable with and may even not recognise it as in any way positive when trying to address and solve issues or progress topics in a meeting situation
Once we had rated ourselves he encouraged us to discuss this briefly with the person sitting next to us – this caused a real buzz of conversation in the room.
In his summing up Eddie commented that all the foundational voices were present in the audience, perhaps at a higher or lower percentage than the figures obtained from survey data but emphasised that when all the voices are heard in any given situation then that usually leads to the best outcome.
Having identified and thought about their characteristics, he moved on to consider in the second workshop how effective each of these voices can be in communicating and how best to ensure that the best outcome is achieved in any meeting/communication process.
Each workshop was highly interactive with many expressing the value of what was being discussed.
To listen to the recordings of the two workshops and access a handout which Eddie has made available, please use the icons below.