When you think about the success of a project or presentation, you likely think about the execution and the results. However, your success is not entirely dependent on how well you do the work. It’s also determined by how well you prepare. Leadership coach Susan Bantz of Consilio sat down with our digital marketing team at KWSM to help us dig into the concept of better preparation to achieve better results.
As Susan explained, preparation isn’t just about the nuts and bolts of your campaign or presentation. It’s more than the ads you write, the PowerPoint you put together, and even the marketing strategy you create. Although all of those things are important, nonverbal communication behind the scenes can actually impact your results. This includes understanding the communication style of your client, identifying the beliefs that are guiding your behavior, and creating a toolbox of questions to keep you on track.
Communication Styles Through DISC
DISC is a popular personality assessment many businesses use for their team members. Different from other personality tests businesses use to strengthen work teams, DISC looks at behavior. As Susan explained, understanding where your clients and coworkers are on the DISC chart can actually improve your communication, collaboration, and the results you achieve. Several pieces of information that you can take from these assessments include a person’s natural pace, priorities, and personality traits. In Susan’s example, people were broken down into four animal groups: Lions, Otters, Golden Retrievers, and Owls.
Lions tend to focus on tasks as their top priority. They have a dominant personality and operate at a quicker pace. Otters, on the other hand, have a slower pace, focus on people and relationships as their priority, and have a fun-loving personality. Those in the Golden Retriever group tend to be more loyal and focused on relationships. And finally, the Owl group is much more detail-oriented and focused on facts over conversations. Understanding what group the person you are talking to falls in can help you communicate with them in their own language and improve your overall results.
BTEAR for Better Results
Although it may not be readily apparent, your belief system has everything to do with the results you create. As Susan explained, your beliefs determine your thoughts. Those thoughts reflect on your emotions and translate into action. All of these combined provide you with the results you see. If you want to improve the results you create, it’s important to look at what causes them.
Let’s take training a dog for example. The result you see is your dog’s excessive barking. Instead of getting frustrated with the uncontrollable noise, look at what led to this problem. Maybe you believe that you are incapable of training your dog. This leads to thoughts of failure and the negative emotions that come with that. You may choose to do nothing or only react when your dog is barking. As a result, the cycle continues. Using this method, you can evaluate the results you are getting and better understand how to improve them.
Start with the results your seeing from a marketing campaign. Did you not obtain the best reach or convert the right number of prospects? To understand this result, look at your beliefs about the campaign. Do you believe you have the necessary skills to reach your goal? The answer to this question determines whether you feel confident going into the project or not. If you’re unconfident about executing and achieving your goals, you’ll likely be more reactive than proactive in getting to this goal. In the end, you’ll see that you were unable to reach your metrics not because of the execution, but because you felt that you lacked the confidence and skills to get your optimal results.
Your Toolbox of Questions
Before you step into a meeting or launch a project, stop and take a look at your toolbox of preparation questions. Everyone has a different communication style. Some people want to get straight to the point while others enjoy small talk. The goal of these questions is to help you communicate more efficiently, eliminate on-the-spot anxiety, and help you shift the narrative of your situation. Examples of useful questions include:
- What does success look like?
- What is the agenda for this interaction?
- What obstacles do I face?
- How will I respond to concerns?
There is an infinite number of questions you can add to this list. Create a structure of your own that will help you feel more prepared for any situation.
We communicate with people on a daily basis. Whether you are using video conferencing for sales or having a casual in-person interaction, preparing for these circumstances beforehand is the key to having them go well. Understanding how someone wants to be communicated with, what beliefs you have, and the ways you can change the narrative will help guide your actions for the best results.
On average, the ratio of preparation to performance is one hour of practice for every minute of performance.
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