I am a huge fan of ‘chats’. The People Skills Revolution Book and Handbook would not have been written without being able to chat to my clients, colleagues and friends, who listened to my thoughts, helped me to shape my ideas and gave me feedback on the initial draft. I have also realised over the years that being able to hold a conversation is a lot less common that you imagine.
I remember working with one coaching client over a number of weeks when he turned to me and said ‘are we having a conversation? Is this what having a conversation feels like?’. It was at this point that I realised that something I take completely for granted and sustains me intellectually and emotionally may not be something that other people benefit from in a routine way.
When working with my clients and assisting them to develop their skills it is not long before I encourage them to embrace the power of chats. I suggest that they find people they connect with (regardless of organisational structures or professions) who they enjoy talking to and who can spare the time to chat to them about things of mutual interest.
Although initially they find the concept a bit strange once they get going and form relationships, which they value they are constantly on the look out for people who they can trust to act as their ‘sounding boards’.
I have been chatting professionally for over 12 years. I now believe that other people often have the missing pieces to your puzzles and in the course of your conversation they will say something that will become an ‘aha’ moment for you. These chats develop your thoughts further, tell you who to speak to next or what books to read to deepen your expertise. It often feels that the people I chat to have a message for me just waiting to be collected and the more conversations like this I have the more of these magic moments I seem to receive.
It is important when embracing the power of chats, not to have preconceived ideas about what will come out of the discussions. Rather you should just allow the conversation to flow naturally, sharing your ideas, thoughts, feelings and actions. When you are both energised by the talk which bounces between you, the sparks of inspiration will fly ‘thick and fast’.
These conversations do not have to be formal meetings. The can be held over a coffee, during lunch, by the water cooler or in the corridor.
If you would like to become more influential in your dealings with others and improve your ‘chatting’ skills, you might find my books the People Skills Revolution and the People Skills Revolution Handbook helpful. They will systematically assist you to develop your assertiveness, influencing, negotiation and conciliation skills in a step-by-step manner whilst addressing any unproductive thought processes that you may have. The approaches will not only increase your confidence but also make you feel more calm and in control of a wide range of situations that you may come across in your working and personal lives.
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