Best Selling Author, Anna DeStefano www.annawrites.com
Speak Up... Communication skills that can make or break your career. 1.
If you want to be the successful author everyone wants to work with, be successful at working with everyone. Work and play well with others--even the ones that drive you crazy. The common denominator in all your working relationships is YOU. Speak Up...I can't believe I just said that!!! (a fun interactive exercise at Anna's expense ;O)
You can only control what YOU say, while you react to what others are saying and doing. The problem is never THEM, even if it is... Your reaction someone else's behavior is the difference between you having a new opportunity to do business or a new problem. What's within your control? How well do you really listen? How well do you know and set your relationship boundaries? How effectively do you assert yourself, WHEN IT'S NEEDED? Speak Up...I can't believe SHE just said that!!!--Things you don't want to hear an agent/editor say, but you should be prepared for them anyway (a volunteer from the audience gets to help Anna make fun of herself and learn from her mistakes. ;o)
Speak Up, DeStefano '07
Active listening Active listening is not as simple as waiting for your turn to speak. Pay attention (with your ears and body language) and avoid distractions Ask Questions like you really want to know Reflect information and opinions that the other is sharing Focus on the moment and the information--save the emotional reaction for an appropriate time Speak Up... More volunteers, more making fun of Anna ;o)
Setting and maintaining boundaries Positive communication is a process, not a single event. Communicate and negotiate expectations and limits Set a precedent for constructively confronting small issues, BEFORE the big one hits Know your emotional self Plan how to keep your reaction constructive within the relationship Speak Up... You get the idea...
Taking the "ass" out of asserting yourself Maintain the relationship first Your number one goal should always be maintaining a relationship with the person you're having a "discussion" with.
Speak Up, DeStefano '07
Some important questions to ask yourself before you confront the other person. • • • • •
Is this really a problem (what do you have at stake)? Is there something to achieve beyond simply complaining? What are the chances you'll achieve your goal? Are you willing to take the risk, and exert the time and energy, with no guarantee of the outcome? How badly do you want it? Is this the time or place for this discussion? Can you maintain control while you confront the issue?
Focus your feedback on the behavior and the issue at hand, not the person. Respect the other's right to her perspective, even if you think it's wrong. Respect her period! Respect your own rights, without turning assertiveness into aggression. Key points to remember Speak Up... One more volunteer before we go...