Confident me - Clear Communication
The room seemed to relax, feel calmer as Andrea walked in the room. She was calm, steady, pausing to smile and greet people as she entered. There was a natural authority that just gently exuded from her. Not demanding, not forced. Just a quiet confidence. Everyone took their seats around the table and one by one each person said what they thought the next step for the organisation should be. Andrea’s turn came last. She explained her principle, told a story of what it looked like and then explained the impact it could have. Her simple clarity brought everyone to focus and nodding in agreement.
Andrea’s natural authority comes from experience that she has reflected on and processed to core elements that she knows can be applied to different contexts. How she explains it comes down to a simple structure of explaining PSI – Principle; Story; Impact.
In this series, where we are exploring what brings confidence or self-efficacy in us to hold conversations and particularly when you are in an interview situation. We have been exploring 4 steps that give us confidence as a leader and confidence in any interaction, including interviews!
This week we look at your Clear communication and the principles of PSI will give us and our listeners confidence to engage in what we are proposing.
When answering any question or addressing a situation, it is important to know what is the principle is that we think will address the situation. Important to this are a couple of things before answering.
Listen intently to those who are sharing thoughts.
Explore the situation. Gain as much insight to the current situation so that you can make an informed decision.
Consider what you know could be helpful here. Don’t just regurgitate what you may have done before. What is the issue and what things might help? What could be the most helpful?
Most situations that you come across are not from a textbook. They are often complex situations where thinking and theory cross paths. So, draw in theory and experience that you think applies. Explain the principle in up to 3 points as any more than that and you are likely to lose people because they won’t remember it. Often the strongest ways forward have one peg on which to hang things off.
If you are answering a question in a discussion or an interview, consider what they are asking and apply your view. Take an interview question like, ‘what is the best way to work with people?’ Consider what you know about working with people and give up to 3 key things you use. You know listening builds understanding and relationship. You know engagement comes when people feel known and when they know how what they do makes a difference. So, your simple answer is ‘Know them and let them know’. You can then explain the importance of listening, getting to know and value them and helping them know how what they do makes a difference.
Anyone can regurgitate answers or can recycle them from a book. How you know they really understand what they are talking about is when they tell a story from experience of how it works. Take Andrea, for example, as she explained a way forward, she told a story of how she had used the principle with colleagues and how it had worked. Stories where she had seen it in operation in the organisation. Stories where it had worked before for her.
Story telling mirrors our brain patterning in the listener and as a result they can almost see themselves there, in your story. So as we tell a story to illustrate the principle we believe in, people feel the principle.
If you are answering an interview question, you explain how you put it into practice. Take our example earlier of ‘what is the best way to work with people?’ You can tell stories of how you listened to a colleague’s story, got to understand what was important to them and how you were able to explain how their role impacted on the customer. It becomes then natural to talk about the impact it had. The smiles, the rise in engagement from them.
Many will tell you their principle, some will tell you their story, but it is the authoritative few who will then tell you the impact. When we hear the story of impact, it engages us in the process. Story telling takes the listener to the experience and the impact explanation helps then feel it. “As a result of me listening to the staff, they felt more valued and so took part in the activity.” We lead the listener into the experience so they can feel, smell and almost taste the power of the action.
Confidence in me
PSI is so simple and yet it is a game changer. It will develop your listener’s confidence in you. They understand and feel the impact and so see you as having the experience that needs to be considered. The more we use PSI it also develops confidence in you too as we recognise the impact we have had. We realise that we have something of worth. So, the next time someone asks you what you think, remember PSI – Principle, Story, Impact. It will develop confidence in you from your listener. And strangely develops confidence in yourself too.
Can we help you?
Would you like to feel more confident in conversations, or maybe that big interview? We hope this blog has been helpful and if you would like some more targeted support to grow in confidence, then do get in contact with us. We can organise one-to-one coaching to help with techniques. Give us a call on 01449 710438or email email@example.com if you would like us to help you explore this and empower you.
Everyday Leader is here to empower, inspire and equip you. If we can help you find a way forward, through coaching, training or consultancy, do let us know. Contact us now: firstname.lastname@example.org