There comes a time in everybody’s week (or life!) when you have to chat with your boss. It may be your bank manager, your accountant (well yes, as they are the boss of how much tax you are going to pay.) It could be your teacher, your parent, your actual boss at work. We are surrounded by superiors, people in authority, and daily we have to find the words to speak out and get our point across.
How do you say it? With passion, anger, complaining and whining? Do you speak quietly with your head bowed or mumble your words? Perhaps, you are loud and angry, arrogant and rude or just extremely upset? As you can see, on paper, these phrases do not look effective, and cannot offer a high success rate!
Chatting with your Boss is just a byword for all the things we have to express to people who are in a position of command, esteem or influence in our lives. How do we get our point of view across with effect? How do we insure they will listen to us and then take note of what we are saying?
I believe that if it is important to you, then some preparation, some pre-thought needs to be considered.
I start with a pencil and paper. I always carry some form of a writing tool with me and I love pencil and paper. Maybe, you prefer your phone or tablet, that is your choice. Whatever works for you. But there is something very earthy when you connect your pencil to paper.
Now you have a chance to edit. To re-create and re-position. To arrange your thoughts and ideas in a manner that has impact and meaning. You can now choose the words that have the power to change, perhaps, inspire or motivate. Words that transmit the real meaning of your message.
The next step is to read them out loud. How do they sound? What works and what doesn’t? What words can you substitute and which phrases can be improved. Do they have that colloquial edge?
Rehearsing your words out loud allows you to really hear them. The tone, your intonation, your emotion, your pronunciation, even your energy are the things you will pick up when you practise your words aloud. Of course, it is even better to record or video your little spoken speech. This is a great practise to develop as you can hear and see how you come across instantly.
A quick word about being spontaneous. It is a wonderful concept and an exciting element to add to your exchanges, yet seldom we communicate the real meaning of our thoughts. Mostly, it is big emotions expressed impulsively. So try preparing your next chat with your boss and turn a confrontation into a clever conversation that brings you results.
Oh how the above words resonate with me! I’m loathe to admit being a product of a time when – women in particular – were taught to be polite at all times…stoic (“It’s not lady-like to complain too much…” etc., And, while I still think politeness is a must, “standing your ground and being positive,” and confident, is especially relevant if you want to make your mark in the world! “Standing up and standing out” is a must.
Yes, sometimes it takes a little chutzpah or a tot of palinka ( schnapps!) to speak up and out…but I have seen you do it very effectively!
Excellent article Georgia.