Do you use your conversations to reach the most productive and positive outcome? Are you thinking about what you’re going to say and how it will affect the other person before you say it? These are communication strategies to consider when you are involved in a challenging conversation.
Bridget DiCello, a public speaker and expert in effectively navigating difficult conversations, presented the idea of ‘opportunity space’ at a seminar held during the Meeting Professionals International Toronto Education Conference. The concept of opportunity space is the effective use of the few seconds of silence in the middle of a conversation. This space is available to gather your thoughts and determine how best to reach your intended outcome in your response. The opportunity space allows us to make a conscious decision to turn a negative conversation into a positive one.
Here are a few thoughts to consider regarding the opportunity space in your conversations:
- Relationships can either be built or destroyed
- People can either be inspired or demoralized
- Customer relationships can either be enhanced or hurt
- Prospects can either become clients or are lost
Next time you’re involved in a challenging conversation and have a choice to change the outcome, use your opportunity space effectively. Keep in mind a few helpful hints and you’ll be on your way to positive, productive conversations:
- Leave emotions out of the conversation
- Make good decisions while in your opportunity space
- Respond based on what you want to accomplish in the conversation
- Maintain curiosity with the person you are speaking to
- Keep the other person’s feelings in mind
Remember, the opportunity space is your chance to gather your thoughts and proceed with a confident direction of where you want to take the conversation. Make the best out of communications and strive to achieve your goals.