Jul 19, 2023

Pause and Purpose

Back on the 27thJune I was fortunate to attend an emerging Leaders’ Summit in Auckland with a group of work colleagues (Chrissy, Johno, Andrew, Rudi and Khan) where we listened to a range of inspirational speakers, who imparted latest industry trends and insights.

These speakers were truly the best in the business, and it was very inspiring to hear how they achieved their dream roles and the lessons they learned along the way.

It’s always hard to pick a favourite but thought I would share with you some key points from Shelly Davies’ presentation on ‘How to Communicate for Outcomes’.

Shelly used several different examples such as emails, meetings, phone conversations, giving and receiving feedback to highlight the strategy she uses when ‘communicating’.

Be ‘Purposeful’, know what you want to achieve. You will always have more impact if you know what you want that impact to be. Think about what you want to happen in this exact interaction and the outcome you want to achieve.

The 2 P’s:

  • Pause – I’m sure there has been a time when you communicated in some way when you didn’t pause and then later, you’re like ‘oh crap’, probably shouldn’t have hit send on that email or probably shouldn’t have opened my mouth in that meeting.
  • Purpose (be very clear) – what is the thing I am trying to achieve right now? If this communication works what will happen? Before any communication, be very clear on the specific outcome you are after.

When I am pausing and thinking about purpose, the other question is how do I want the person that I am interacting with to feel? It is something we don’t think about consciously enough.

How do we build on the Pause and Purpose?

BLUF – Bottom Line Up Front (except sales ha ha) this is how communications should start. Think about how to express bottom line up front. If it’s going to be a hard conversation, get straight to it, ‘look we’re going to have a conversation and it’s probably going to be uncomfortable, should we/can we do this together?’ giving that heads up (BLUF) is going to make everything a lot easier from that point onwards.

BUT – give the bad news first (BLUF) then use ‘but’ to deliver good news last. This helps equalise what has come before and can be useful especially when used purposefully.

No sh#!t sandwiches allowed – giving and receiving feedback – do not say a nice thing then put a sh#!tty thing in the middle and then try and finish with something nice. This does not help the person at all. Go back to the previous point (BLUF) and deal with the hard stuff first, then talk about the things that are being done well.

Pause, Purpose and before you in engage in any type of communication think about these things. If this works what will happen, what am I achieving, what do I want them to feel and think about those other little tools.

This post was written by

Ann Cameron

Ann is the Sales Manager for consumables. She gets a kick out of helping her customers implement the right packaging options for their products because it can make a real difference to their business.