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Communicating to Maximize Results
By Cheryl Vallejos

Editor's Summary: Three important techniques for successful communication are discussed in this article. Encouraging others to express their concerns and goals, understanding others' point of view, and communicating respectfully are key to good communication. Read the author's ten techniques for maximizing your communication results.

As in all daily interactions, it is important to remember you will converse with people from various background and life experiences. Speaking and listening effectively are crucial to creating an atmosphere of respect with others. Showing respect to everyone, and encouraging open communication can help bring you a motivated and congenial staff while impressing your colleagues.

Improved communications + better results = more success

Three important communication techniques:

  1. Create safety in the conversation by encouraging others to participate and express their concerns and objectives.
  2. Establish mutual purpose by understanding what the others view point might be and paraphrase back to establish clarity in the conversation.
  3. Communicate with respect by actively listening to the other person. Give total attention to the conversation and encourage participation.

Building rapport

My 22 years experience in business management has taught me that building rapport and respect for people with different personalities and different viewpoints is imperative.

A main objective is to develop positive communication style by building the rapport with others. This is a large part of getting the ideas across in a constructive, collaborative manner with mutual respect.

10 ways to maximize communication results

  1. Deliver clear and consistent messages in your conversations
  2. Manage communication problems with knowledge and awareness of conflict management
  3. Work on you first. Don't try to change the other person.
  4. Handle all conversations with respect and you will receive respect in return
  5. Stay within your boundaries and values, and keep emotionally balanced during conflicts
  6. Inspire, energize and motivate others
  7. Actively listen.
  8. Never make the other person wrong
  9. During a conflict, find mutual ground, then resolve the issue with that in mind
  10. Don't be a victim or play the villain in a conflicting situation
The concept of communicating best when it matters most is intended to ultimately guide a greater appreciation and respect for others, while maximizing the outcome of conversation.

Communication and leadership are inseparable.

Our ability to energize, inspire, and motivate people to high levels of performance is directly related to our ability to communicate well. Be ready with your conflict resolution skills at any time. By communicating with empathy, yet with strength and diplomacy, you will model effective communication to all around you, and the results will happily affect the bottom line.

About conflict:

  • Conflict is inevitable
  • Conflict develops because we are dealing with people's lives, jobs children, pride, self-concept, ego and sense of mission or purpose
  • Early indicators of conflict can be recognized
  • There are strategies for resolution that are available and DO work
  • Although inevitable, conflict can be minimized, diverted and/or resolved

Conflict Indicators:

  • Poor and disrespectful communication
  • Individual seeking power
  • Dissatisfaction with management style
  • Weak leadership
  • Lack of openness
  • Change in leadership
  • Certain body language
  • Disagreements regardless of issue
  • Withholding bad news
  • Surprises
  • Strong public statements
  • Airing disagreements through media
  • Conflicts in value system
  • Increasing lack of respect
  • Lack of candor on budget problems or other sensitive issues
  • Lack of clear goals
  • No discussion of progress, failure relative to goals, failure to evaluate the superintendent fairly, thoroughly or at all

When you are not aware of what the other person's needs or if you are not listening carefully to the message the other is stating, conflict occurs. This unconscious behavior is what stops you from maximizing the results in conversations. When a person actively works at these different communication habits and skills, better results and less stress occurs in the conversation process.

Conflict is destructive when it:

  • Takes attention away from other important activities
  • Undermines morale or self-concept
  • Polarizes people and groups, reducing cooperation
  • Increases or sharpens difference
  • Leads to irresponsible and harmful behavior, such as fighting, name-calling

Conflict is constructive when it:

  • Results in clarification of important problems and issues
  • Results in solutions to problems
  • Involves people in resolving issues important to them
  • Encourages authentic communication
  • Helps release emotion, anxiety, and stress
  • Builds cooperation by people joining to resolve conflict
  • Helps individuals develop understanding and skills

Techniques for avoiding and/or resolving conflict:

  • Meet conflict head on
  • Set goals
  • Plan ahead and communicate frequently
  • Be honest about concerns
  • Agree to disagree; understand healthy disagreement builds better decisions
  • Get individual ego out of management style
  • Let your team create; people will support what they help create
  • Openly discuss differences in values
  • Continually stress the importance of following policy
  • Communicate honestly; avoid playing "gotcha"-type games
  • Provide more data and information than is needed
  • Develop a sound management system

Contagious decision controversies:

The controversies usually involve:

  • Changes in the way "we've always done things"
  • Notions of fundamental values
  • Determined, articulate advocates for every side
  • Inability to compromise
  • Rampant rumors
  • Board election

Resolving Conflict:

Searching for the causes of conflict is essential to be successful in resolving the conflict.

Eight possible causes of conflict include:

  1. Conflict with self
  2. Needs or wants not being met
  3. Values being tested
  4. Perceptions being questioned
  5. Assumptions being made
  6. Having minimal knowledge
  7. Expectations are too high/too low
  8. Personality, race, or gender differences are present
Active listening

Acknowledge the feelings and view point of the other person. Compassionately allow people to feel whatever they feel and discuss their concern. This sets the example for others to hear & accept your feelings also. As you actively listen, give respect to the other person as they express their idea. This results in a better outcome for the conversation. Ask more "open-ended" and creative questions: "How did you like that movie?" is an open-ended question that invites a wide range of answers. "Did you like it?" suggests only "yes" or "no" answers and does not encourage discussion.


  • Listen more carefully and more responsively
  • Explain your intent to others and openly invite their opinions
  • Make an effort to express yourself more clearly and completely
  • Transfer your criticisms and complaints into requests and positive statements and use appropriate language to communicate them.
  • Avoid arguing over individual ranking or position. Present a position as logically as possible.
  • Avoid "win/lose" statements. Discard the notion that someone must win
  • Avoid changing your mind in order to avoid conflict and achieve harmony (people pleasing)
  • Avoid majority voting, averaging, bargaining, or coin flipping. These actions do not lead to consensus
  • Keep the attitude that holding different views is both natural and healthy to a group
  • View initial agreement as suspect. Explore the reasons underlying apparent agreement and make sure that members have willingly agreed

2004 © Cheryl Vallejos, Prime Leaders Community

Reprinting These Articles You are welcome to use one of these articles. Just be sure and include the "author's box" below: Cheryl Vallejos
Prime Leaders Community

Heping good managers become great leaders!

President and CEO of Endorse Success, LLC and Prime Leaders Community, Cheryl Vallejos has more than 22 years of experience in organizational business management. Her passion is helping small businesses create big profits. Cheryl's business and personal clients include those wanting career advancement, people starting or expanding their businesses, and those needing guidance and support in setting, meeting, and exceeding their business and personal goals.

A dynamic and impressive leading-edge coach and consultant, Cheryl has combined extensive business management experience with her highly regarded talent as a certified coach to helping entrepreneurs and businesses improve productivity, cut costs by over 25% and find that elusive extra time in the day for family and friends.

Cheryl recently launched Prime Leaders Community, an excellent business resource that provides networking, leadership coaching and training, tele-seminars and much more. She has successfully started, owned and operated 3 businesses, and is the author of four books: Injecting The Juice Into Leadership


About The Author

Robert's books have sold over 300 thousand copies worldwide, and have been translated into Chinese, French, German and Japanese.

He holds a Masters Degree in Applied Psychology, and has taught clinical and counselling psychology at the college level.

You can browse his Amazon Author page by clicking the graphic above.

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