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Focus the Message on the Person

Building relationships with everyone you work with is critical. The biggest reason is that it enables you to focus messages to the people in the manner that is easiest for them to digest.

When I am going into a meeting with people I don't know, I will find someone in the meeting who I do know and simply ask "what can you tell me about Mary?" I'm not looking for a resume or her life story, but any information you can give helps me start to build a relationship and also target the message to that person.

A great example - I was going into a meeting recently with my boss and several of his peers. I asked him what he could tell me about everyone. He couldn't tell me much, but I was able to ask a few follow up questions that helped me. I learned that this particular group wasn't big on chit chat and liked things very direct and with data. For those of you familiar with the DISC profile, it was clear this was a room of HIgh D and C people.

That little tidbit helped me focus during the meeting. When I jumped in, I did so very clearly and tried to give evidence to support my position. I didn't talk about how it make people feel or the social aspects of the training, I mentioned the performance benefit and the effectiveness.

This may seem common sense - all business leaders want to hear about performance and effectiveness. That isn't true. Some prefer to hear about how it makes people feel and the social aspects of it. They know that emotions impact how effective it is.

Learn how people best digest information - form and substance - and you will be more effective in working with them.

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