The Federal Credit Union July-August 2013 - (Page 66)

management insight Change Your Communication for Greater Influence By Stacey Hanke W hen was the last time you made a change in how you communicate? What? You’ve never had a need to change? Perhaps you’ve heard or made comments like these: “People tell me I’m a good communicator.” “The boomers are old school, and they need to learn how to communicate with me via text.” “The Xers, Y’s and millennials just don’t understand how to communicate effectively.” O=Opinion We operate in a diverse workforce; therefore the change I’m referring to requires you to “click it” — tap into what’s important to your listeners and communicate using their words and level of understanding. Click your idea to your listeners’ problem by using language in a way that provides them with solutions. This is when you’ll begin to build trust and rapport. Who are your listeners? What do I want them to know about my topic? How will the action I want them to take benefit them? Why should my listeners be interested in this particular topic? When meeting with people for the first time, it would be wise to expand on W in order to tailor your communication by asking: What preconceived notions do they have of you? What has been their experience of your product or your competition? What do they want to change? Before and during your next conversation, take five minutes to tailor your message for your listener. The acronym KNOW will help you conduct powerful analysis in order to adapt your message to each specific communication. K=Know What do my listeners know about my topic, and what is their experience? Boomers will have a different perspective on how to build a relationship than millennials, based on their experience. N=Need What does my listener need to know to take action in the amount of time I have to present the message? Boomers may want more detail to make a decision, while Xers need only the takeaways. 66 What is my listener’s opinion on my subject? Ask open-ended questions at the beginning of the conversation in order to find out exactly what your listeners know about you. This line of questioning can help you choose your opening words carefully. Within 30 seconds, your listeners should know what it is you want them to do and exactly what’s in it for them. W=Who Taking the time to walk through KNOW can make all the difference — whether it is with regard to presentations or meetings, or even the way you reply to emails. Stacey Hanke is the founder and communication expert of Stacey Hanke Inc. ( and author of Yes You Can! Hanke helps individuals eliminate the static that plagues communicative delivery to persuade, sell, influence and communicate face-to-face with a clear message. Hanke will be speaking at the NAFCU Management and Leadership Institute, Oct. 7–11 in Philadelphia. For more information on the conference, go to Changing your communication behavior includes four steps: awareness, understanding, acceptance and taking action. 1. Awareness A prerequisite for making a change is that you’re aware of your communication strengths, weaknesses and impact on others. To be truly aware, you need to ask others to give you constructive feedback. what you become aware of might be unexpected and surprising. 2. understanding This is the stage where you say, “Aha! I understand what needs to be done to make the change I want to make. ” you’ve reached a stage where you stop denying that this change is needed, and you are willing to accept it. when the pain is great enough, or if you haven’t seen results in a while, make a change! 3. Acceptance During this stage, you accept that you can have a new and improved way to communicate. you’re more openminded, more interested in making the change and focused to move forward. 4. taking Action This is where most people come to a halt. Not tomorrow, not next week, but today, begin making changes so that one year from today you’re not stuck in the same spot. Put your commitment to yourself in writing. Make a list of the changes you’re encountering now. your list should include changes you’ve chosen, changes you look forward to and changes you have some anxiety about. which change on your list presents the most difficult challenge for you? what do you need to do differently? The Federal CrediT Union July–August 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Federal Credit Union July-August 2013

Voices and Opinions
From the Chair
Inside NAFCU
Fred Becker Leaves a Lasting Impression; Dan Berger Moves to CEO
Charting a Course
The 2013 NAFCU Award Winners
2013 Exhibitor Directory
Getting to Know...
Management Insight
Inside NAFCU Services
Potomac View

The Federal Credit Union July-August 2013