Building Influence, Communication Skills

Intent Strengthens Influence

Blog bites:

  • Clarify your intention before any meeting
  • Pinpoint the desired outcome
  • Make it about your audience

Have you ever left a meeting room thinking, ‘What was the point of that?’. Perhaps you’ve facilitated a meeting, only to feel frustrated that you didn’t get the outcome you wanted.

There’s a very simple reason why: the intention wasn’t clear enough.

Whenever we meet someone or give a presentation, our audience is always trying to calibrate what our intention is. They’re thinking, ‘What’s my role in this? What’s your role in this?’

Be really clear about your intention, and your audience will be really clear about their response. It’s that simple.

Let’s look at how to put it into action:

Get clear on your intention

  • Before any communication, always ask – what’s the purpose?
  • Then, clarify who needs to be involved.
  • Next, ask yourself how you want people to be thinking, feeling and doing as a result of your communication.
  • Decide what the best format for that communication would be to achieve that purpose. Is it a meeting, a phone call, a presentation, an email or something else?
  • Lastly, identify what supporting material you will need to fulfil your intention.

Have the honesty to interrogate the intent for your meetings. One of our clients said recently, ‘We have the Tuesday morning meeting because we always have a Tuesday morning meeting.’ On investigation, we found that most people thought the meeting was the biggest waste of their week.

So without clarity at the forefront of a meeting, you’re already going to be up against it.

Get the purpose of your communication really clear, and it will start off in the most positive and powerful way possible. Just don’t do it as you’re walking to the meeting – prepare it well ahead of time so it’s set in your mind.

Make it all about your audience

Have you ever seen a facilitator who loves the spotlight? They’re looking for validation, applause and praise. Their intention is self-serving.

Being a masterful communicator is about engaging your audience and adding authentic value. And you do that by making it all about them.

You must do whatever it takes to get to the outcome that matters most to your audience. That is the clarity of your intention. By being generous about your intention, your audience will open up to you. They’ll trust your agenda, back you up and be truly influenced by your content.

And that’s what masterful communication is all about.

In the Mastering Communication Program, Colin James and Erica Bagshaw delve deeper into powerful public speaking tips, communication skills and audience analysis techniques.

The Colin James Method® Facilitators train corporate executives to improve their professional development with a proven methodology. Our highly trained Facilitators and Coaches are recognised for their experience in their fields and have worked with many individuals and organisations around the world to master the art of communication.

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