The Art of Talking
In one evening, after a dinner was almost finished in a kingdom, the King suddenly asked his ministers, “What is the most difficult matter in this world?” These ministers answered together without hesitation and said “Talking is the most difficult matter in the world!”
Some of us might wonder why. In fact, talking skills is one of the most difficult communication skills to acquire. The skills become even more challenging when you talk to the King. If the art of talking is so important, what should be the right way to talk? Below are some of the tips to be shared.
If it is a done deal, don’t talk
If the decision has been made by the company or senior management, don’t bother to mention it anymore. Do not continue to give ideas or suggestions even though you know that these ideas are so important and beneficial to the company. Uphold this principle to be silence.
If the decision was not made yet, use this golden opportunity to suggest whatever ideas you have. In fact this is your responsibility to do that. Thereafter, leave the decision to be made by the management and company. One must know your responsibility and boundary. Do not try to go beyond what you are required to perform unless been asked specifically. Else, this will definitely cause unnecessary harm to your own self.
For example, if company’s head office has appointed a person to head a branch, even though you knew very well that particular person is not suitable and possible to cause trouble too, it is best to keep your silence.
This is because even if you do highlight this to head office, do you think the main office will change the decision? What will happen to the image of the head office management if they change this decision? You don’t want to get yourself into this trouble of strain relationship with head office later on. Therefore, you speak only before decision and silence after decision.
Work in Progress, don’t talk
In another word to say, do not give alternative ideas and suggestions when decision had been made and implementation is in progress. If you know this is a wrong decision, let it be wrong until the end. Once the implementation is complete, perform a review to assess the results.
Every day, senior management in a company make many decisions. Based on a statistic, even the best decision maker in the world could not guarantee making every decision correctly. Most of the well-run companies in the world generally have their decisions correct at an approximately 70% rate.
Nevertheless, a company with decisions is better than no decisions even though the decisions sometime could be wrong. But most of the common problem faced are companies who do not have decisions or having bad decisions.
One might ask if a company facing a dilemma of no decision or bad decision, which is better? In my opinion, if companies do not have a decision, they are directionless. They will not have development plan as they do not have long term strategies and objective. This is almost equivalent to having some decease or cancer in a body.
If a company makes wrong decisions, the most they could suffer are lost of time and money. It is like outer body wound injuries. It can be healed and recovered easily. Which is better?
In our corporate world, these kind of scenario happens quite often and most of the time. Even though the ground staffs aware of the wrong decision, senior management still insist for the implementation. Therefore, the only wise move to do is implement the “wrong” decision and do not busy body to comment or critic.
Sometime, senior management might also be aware of the situation when they receive feedback, but non implementation of the decision will only draw unnecessary bad image of senior management. Therefore, whatever time lost and monetary loss can be recovered once reviewed and brainstorming will be conducted later on to resolve the issue.
History, don’t talk
Whatever is passed, let it pass. A reasonable accountability during a review could be conducted but do not dwell with it so long and so deep. In particularly on small issues, if we can let it settle, it will be a good thing. Do not prolong criticism especially over small issues which could affect party concern’s image and reputation as it does not add value and pose future challenges of cooperation and coordination.
However, the above are suitable to be applied on smart people. Even if you do not explicitly find a fault on an issues, the person involved will also be aware of their mistake. Everyone knows what was wrong and their own accountability and works towards to rectify the issue and continue to have a happy working relationship. But there are some people who are not so “smart”, explicit accountability approached might have to be adopted.
The above is only a few points on how to talk at the right time. The art of talking or communication can be very vast and the learning skills on this area will continue to expand especially on different scenario and occasion.
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