Tweak Your Biz » Growth » Engaging in Conversation? W.A.I.T.

Engaging in Conversation? W.A.I.T.



Recently on #kaizenblog (a hashtag Twitter chat), we were talking about how knowing your core competencies can improve your business messaging. As with any conversation about communication, people started discussing the art of  listening. That’s when Eric Tsai (@designdamage) shared some advice from his mentor, “My mentor’s best advice when engaging in conversation: W.A.I.T. Why Am I Talking?”

Conversations are supposed to be two-way events. Business owners are in conversations with customers, peers, prospects, vendors, employees and many other people every day. Who were you talking with today? Sometimes we get sidetracked by accident. A person could be tired or distracted and just not have the capacity to stop. Other times people fall in love with their ideas, the sound of their voices, or just not have the

social skills to focus beyond themselves. There are even times when we are so nervous that we get carried away and keep talking.

Reconnecting your brain to your mouth

We know that our brains can get disconnected from our mouths. Sometimes emotions hijack us (anger and anxiety are the most common culprits) and we stop thinking clearly. It happens. Maybe it’s not the way we really want to conduct ourselves and yes, active listening skills are important. However, there is one pieListening builds good businessesce here that may help you reconnect your brain to your mouth even before you find yourself babbling away.

Take time to W.A.I.T.

What would happpen if we entered conversations with an intent? This is where our emotional intelligence serves us.

  • Know why you are in the conversation-Take time ahead of the conversation to identify the purpose of the conversation. Identify who you are talking to and your agenda for having the conversation.
  • Identify the triggers that derail your usual good communication skills. Sometimes it can be simply the time of day. Some of us are morning people while others are more alert later in the day. If you are entering a high pressure situation, use relaxation techniques or other healthy coping mechanisms to keep your emotions in check so you don’t cloud your message.

What will your business gain by using W.A.I.T.?

Perhaps the biggest gain is a business leader who is a calm and collected communicator who listens. Remember people love to be acknowledged. If you remember something they said to you, they will feel like you really saw them as a person. Listening skillfully also means we can tailor our products or services to suit our customer or know when they are not a good fit. When we stop talking, we are able to pick up information that will make our businesses stronger.

When do you use W.A.I.T?

What other tips do you have that make using W.A.I.T. more powerful?



Sponsored Content

The Author:

Elli St.George Godfrey guides small business owners as they expand in their own community or internationally using her 3 Keys Coaching process helps clients not only navigate growth stages. With each stage of the 3 Keys coaching process, we tackle strategic planning, goal setting, managing change, organizational development and managing the stress and feelings of overwhelm that often plague small to mid-size business owners and executives. This results in clients feeling confident in identifying and developing strategies to be more effective leaders, plan more creatively, increase revenues and overcome the fears and obstacles that interfere with building thriving small to mid-sized businesses. I am also Chief Community Manager of Kaizen Biz and Host of Twitter chat, #KaizenBiz (a chat that uses the concept of "kaizen" for continual improvement in how we think and act in business). Please visit www.abilitysuccessgrowth.com/about/ to learn more and I look forward to meeting you in a complimentary coaching session. http://www.abilitysuccessgrowth.com

Add Your Comment

  • http://www.btbtraining.com/blog Niall Devitt

    Elli, this is great advice. Listening is for me the most important sense when it comes to business, it’s something we all like to think we are good at yet in reality few of us are. It’s something I personally need to be conscious of and I’m glad to say it’s a skill I have been able to improve over the years. This may get me in trouble but on average I think women are more natural & active listeners than men ;-)

  • Anonymous

    Niall,

    While women might be better listeners than men (check out this article: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/412256), there is still a lot we don’t know. The major thing thing is to know why we are talking and listening.

  • Anonymous

    Listening,listening and listening is a great habbit. Once listened properly half the battle is won already.One knows where the other person stands,What is he thinking,What are his demands.And in business you learn about your competitors,about market,about pricing,only thru proper listening.

  • http://www.seefincoaching.com/blog Elaine Rogers

    Hi Elli – great post thanks!
    To use statistics, we should be listening 80% of the time as Coaches. This helped me a lot to improve my active listening skills, and to know when to stop talking for the sake of it. I am a culprit of using my mouth when nervous, I could talk for Ireland.
    Being a Trainer, this is a natural talent, and a useful skill at tea breaks, to build a rapport with participants.
    However, in Coaching, listening is key – and the simple 80/20 rule helps me on a basic level :)

  • http://twitter.com/fredchannel Fred

    Good post Richie. Regarding your last point, yes, Open Source is still tricky to a lot of companies. Not everybody is on board with the idea. However the more big companies adopt this software, the faster the trend will move. We saw Cisco this year, leaving their proprietary software and moving to WordPress with their mega blog: blogs.cisco.com

  • http://www.ivanwalsh.com Ivan Walsh

    Hi Richie, nnI use lots of OS tools on a personal level but… for corp projects would usually recommend apps from vendors that have support systems and SLAs in place, eg for mission critical apps. nnIvan

  • http://twitter.com/rbconsulting Richie Bowden

    Folks, thanks for the retweets.nnIvan, agree with your principle. What I am seeing from some clients, is that they are happy with the feature/service profile of some open apps to use them in their daily business, While other open software such as MySQL / SugarCRM are adding ‘enterprise’ support agreements (at a cost) to re-assure clients for important apps/services. – Horses for courses etc. nnFred, agree with your point as regards the more companies that use open software the greater the trend. For me, the big plus with the open world is the sharing and innovation. nnI will be interested to hear any comments on the ‘open data’ portion of the blog particularly in relation to Google’s value/control & transparency principles.nnThanks

  • http://www.cgonlinemarketing.com/ Christina Giliberti

    Hi there Richie,nnYou’ve picked a great topic to explain, as open source is an area of confusion.nI’m fairly familiar with most of the above, especially the CMS.nnWhat do you fell are the main benefits of open source in comparison to closed?nTina

  • http://twitter.com/rbconsulting Richie Bowden

    Christina, thanks for the comment. Main benefits of open source for me are an active community innovating a product/service together. It may take longer than with proprietary software, but in the longer term there can be more success. I would agree with the point in the Google open letter, that after a period of time, the closed software will peak and head on a downward curve.

  • http://www.btbtraining.com/blog Niall Devitt

    Hi Richie, good to see you back on here! Nice explanations and helped lift some of my personal fog around the subject :)

  • http://www.seefincoaching.com/blog Elaine Rogers

    Slightly off-topic:nOpen Source software is yet a necessity for small businesses, however i feel that it has become the “norm” and it’s ever more difficult for people to get paid for their software (especially mobile apps).nnMy humble observation is that we have nurtured a whole generation of free software users, to the extent that they have little regard for copyright at all!! If they can get it free, then great, even if that means pirating or availing of the black market.nnBut that may simply mean that online usage is developing at such a rate that to pay for all the services we use, would negate the direction we are heading with Semantic Web (?)nnThe debate continues…

  • http://twitter.com/rbconsulting Richie Bowden

    Happy to help…

  • http://twitter.com/rbconsulting Richie Bowden

    Elaine, thanks for the comments and observations. This discussion needs more time and a coffee or two!nI am not a legal expert, but as I mentioned in the article, there are different licence(s) options that should be used with open source software. So if open source software is being used as per the licence arrangements, then that’s fine, if it’s not then its piracy – not because its open source, but because the licence arrangements are not being adhered.nnRichie

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the lovely comment Tara.