O'Reilly logo

How You Can Talk to Anyone in Every Situation by Tim Fearon, Emma Sargent

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

5
Chapter
97
How you can talk to anyone
at work
We meet a lot of people who love their work and an almost
equal number of people who don’t. And for those people who
don’t, the reason often lies not with the work itself but with
their relationship, or lack of it, with colleagues and/or their
boss. And even for those who do enjoy their work, there are
often issues relating to other people that stop them enjoying
it more.
Now, given that we spend two-thirds of our waking life at work,
it makes sense that we should have the best time we can while
we’re there.
So this chapter is devoted to helping you to make the most of
your working relationships, whether on a one-to-one or team
basis, through offering you some terrific, proven, strategies that
will allow you to talk to anyone at work with confidence.
Let’s start with:
How to talk to your boss
Many people have problems talking to their boss. At least they
have problems talking to them about things that really concern
them. Reasons for this vary widely.
On what you might call a positive note, some people choose not
to raise issues with their boss because they don’t want to worry
them; they think they’ve got enough on their plate already; they
don’t want to interrupt them or they’re not sure of the best time
to approach them.
HOW YOU CAN TALK TO ANYONE IN EVERY SITUATION
98
On a less positive note, some don’t do it because they think
that nothing will happen if they do apathy rules! and there
are then some more who think their boss wont do anything
because they (the boss) are protecting their back and don’t want
to make waves.
Some think their boss will see it as sign of weakness/rebellion/
whingeing, whilst others think they will see it as an attempt to
curry favour (brown nosing again); some are simply scared to
raise the issue because of the repercussions they think it may
have on their future prospects and the way they will be treated.
Others just want to know how to get their point across in such
a way that they are taken seriously and that something positive
happens as a result.
Whatever group you fall into, here are some proven strate-
gies for getting your point across and so build your confidence.
Here’s our blueprint for ‘Talking to your boss’.
The first question to answer is, ‘How does your boss like to be
talked to?’
Stephen Covey, in his book The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People,
talks about the need to understand before being under-
stood’. In fact it’s one of the seven habits that he identifies all
truly successful communicators have. It’s an indispensable first
step in establishing any successful working relationship.
In which case, if you want to be able to talk to your boss effec-
tively, you need to understand their style of communication and
adapt accordingly.
Understanding your boss
It may be a blinding glimpse of the obvious but different people
like to be talked to in different ways. They have different
communication styles and preferred methods of communication
.
So what we’re going to do is give you the chance to do some
analysis of your boss’s style and then give you the strategies
you need to make the most of that information.
HOW YOU CAN TALK TO ANYONE AT WORK
99
Here’s our first ‘Boss’ exercise for you. We’re going to give you
a range of behaviours and your job is to decide where in that
range your boss lies.
Now, once you’ve done this, you can start to work out how best
to approach them and get the result that you want.
If your boss is more to the left of the range in the above exercise:
focus on the job and getting the results that they are after
be more formal in your approach
talk to them about the job/results; show how you are helping
them to achieve them
Exercise
You and your boss
Your boss’s communication style:
Do they focus on:
The job _____________________________ The people
Facts _______________________________ Feelings
Detail _______________________________ Big picture
Are they:
Formal _____________________________ Informal
Do they:
Use few gestures ____________________ Use lots
Use few facial expressions ____________ Use lots
Interrupt ____________________________ Let others talk
Tell _________________________________ Ask questions
Make quick decisions _________________ Take time to decide
Is their voice:
Monotone ___________________________ Expressive

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required