Often, us creative leaders have a disadvantage where while we have ease at communication using story, visual, sounds and experiences the linear verbiage taxes our skill set. A good friend and I chatted and he bemoaned the fact of what it’s like to prepare to listen to certain people. I loved the honest conversation so I thought I would share a bit of it.
There are those of us who are paragraph people and those of us who are bullet people. Some of us analyze, process and communicate concepts and details all in one swoop. Others, take less of your time and theirs and simply bullet answers and thoughts.
I do not think there is a wrong or right way to be in this. Some of us just are thinkers and some are not. Some are feelers, and some are not. The key is knowing your audience and learning how to be comfortable with each other.
For us that lean on the paragraph side here are some things I am still learning:
- Know your audience: why are you meeting and what is the goal of the conversation. Sometimes it kills things to not know that ahead of time, so ask if you can.
- When surprised, be content to ask to wait to give an answer: often things get drawn out because paragraph people tend to process all the time anyway so why not on the spot. If that is not welcomed, however, it just annoys the one asking the question.
- Watch body language: yes, look at the other party. Recently, I noticed at a meeting no one had eye contact at the start of a meeting. Obviously, to me, this said they were not interested in what I had to say. So, I suppose it would have been better to tell a joke.
- Be authentic: an overused word but good idea. Trying too hard can lead to nervous chatting.
Anything you think is helpful above or do you have something to add?