This video is from my course "Becoming Assertive: Advocate for your interests" on LinkedIn Learning. And can also be found in my course "Authentic Assertiveness: Next level communication skills" on Udemy.
As always, if you prefer text to video you'll find that below.
Let’s talk about proactive communication.
This is what we do when we handle objections or obstacles before they even appear. When we answer questions before they’re asked. And when we prevent problems, rather than fix them.
In most cases, communication is reactive. That means that in most cases we listen to what’s being said and then we react to that with the thoughts that we come up with in the moment.
And that’s all well and good once we get comfortable and have enough mental resources available for it. But in some cases, we can use proactive communication. And when we can – we should.
Now there is a fine line to walk here, because we don’t want to fall into the trap of overanalyzing and obsessing and thinking we can plan out every detail of a future conversation. Because we can’t.
You can write the perfect script for how a conversation should go in your head. But unless you print it out and hand it to the other person – odds are they won’t follow it.
So proactive communication is not about planning the details of a conversation. It’s about understanding what the likely sticking points are.
In other words, it’s to imagine which objections, questions, problems, or obstacles might come up – and dealing with them before they do, so that we'll be more convincing.
Let’s say that you want to ask your boss to let you work on a new, exciting project. You know how to ask for what you want. But you expect that she’ll probably need some convincing.
In that case, instead of saying, “hey boss, can I work on that new, exciting project?” And hoping you’ll be able to convince her if she says no, you can be proactive.
So take a few minutes to think about what her objections might be.
If you assume that her main objection will be that she needs you to focus on the project you’re already working on, make sure you provide a solution to that when you ask her to let you switch projects.
So you might say something like, “hey boss. I’d really like to be involved in that new, exciting project. I recognize that the old project is important, but I won’t have any trouble finishing it if I put in some work this weekend. And Steve has said he’ll be more than happy to help out too.”
When you can deal with challenges before they occur, they lose a lot of their power. And on top of that, that power is often transferred to your persuasiveness.
Bringing up and solving issues this way also shows initiative. And it is a very assertive thing to do. Both of which makes it more likely that you’ll get what you’re asking for.
So practice proactive communication by taking a moment to think about which obstacles are most likely to show up. And then include the solution to those obstacles in your initial communication in a confident way.
Would you like to learn more? Check out my bestselling Udemy course "Authentic Assertiveness: Next level communication skills" now at a discount.
Hi, I'm TJ Guttormsen.
Since 2009 I’ve coached clients ranging from Olympic gold medalists and billionaires, to people who simply want more out life.
I’ve done over 100 national media appearances, published books, and created online courses that have earned several “Highest Rated” titles from their 11 000+ members.
Today I coach clients from all over the world, and teach seminars for business and events from my home in Las Vegas.
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