Do You Know Who You’re Talking To?

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Do You Know Who You’re Talking To?

I recently spoke to a group of business owners in the creative services industry. We spent some time talking about how to handle difficult conversations over creative differences with clients.

The big question: “how do you communicate in a way that influences others to see things your way?”

I spent more than 15 years in the marketing/communications fieldand one thing I learned in all of those years is that all of life is marketing/communications.

Let me explain what I mean. Marketing is about identifying a target audience, studying those individuals and learning their behaviors and motivations. When you understand what drives their decisions, you can thencraft a message and communicate that message in a way that influences them totake an action.

That’s the same formula for many things in life that we want to achieve. Because more often than not, our goals and desired outcomes involve other people and influencing others to see things our way.

Just how do we effectively handle conversations with others when we have differences of opinion? And how can we elevate our level of influence in those conversations? In a word – how can we speak to be understood?

Whether you want to ask for a raise, get your team to improve performance, turn a prospect into a client, or just get your kids to pick uptheir stuff around the house, there are techniques you can learn to improveyour level of influence. And at the top of the list is understanding dominant motivating factors.

Know your audience

Just as in marketing, the key is to know your audience. You see, people have different motivating forces, we have different fears, different characteristics that make up our personalities.

Nowhere is this more obvious than in the case of your own children. If you have more than one child, you know that what works for one, doesn’t work for the other. You have to get creative in how you influence and motivate them. One will respond and follow instructions when you threaten to send him to his room. But if you send the other child to his room, he skips up the stairs singing all the way because he would love nothing more than to sit in his room all day and day dream. Do you ever wonder, “how did these two kids come from the same parents?”

Through my coaching, I work with clients to help them understand what we call the DISC personality styles. Scientific research has proven that there are four dominant types of personalities, and each has its own set of distinct motivations, fears, and characteristics.

And when clients learn to identify these characteristics, they increase their impact in communications with others. They become better influencers, earn more respect from co-workers and bosses, and get others to embrace their ideas.

Let me give you an example.

Have you ever met someone who is assertive, strong willed, gets right to the point and makes quick decisions? I’ll bet you can think of someone right now who fits that description. On the other hand, you probably know someone who is a real team player, a cheerleader, always keeping the peace and wants to make everyone happy?

Would you communicate to these individuals in the same way? Of course not. These two people have different fears and different key motivators. Once you understand this, you can speak to the issues that are of greatest impact to your audience.

If you have your own business or aspirations to grow, advance, make more money, or get promoted – you need to develop this communication skill.

If you want to achieve professional success, it’s not enough just to be good at what you do. You need this skill to earn new clients, keep clients and get more referrals. You need this skill to ask for a promotion, ask for a raise or influence team members to achieve greater success on projects.

A quick and easy way to get started is to download my free DISC “cheat sheet,” a 1-page summary of the four DISC personalities. Keep it on your phone or print it out and keep it in your pocket. It’s a great, quick reference to skim over before any conversation or meeting.

You can instantly improve communication and outcomes of the nextconversation you have.

Marianne Renner is a transformational leadership coach, helping aspiring and emerging leaders move from chaos to clarity and eliminate barriers to success in business.
Through speaking and coaching, she has inspired hundreds of leaders to achieve greater success and uncover limiting beliefs that keep them stuck.

Marianne has a background in marketing, communications and LEAN
Continuous Improvement. Her effective techniques for problem-solving, and insights to personal behaviors, have made her a highly impactful coach in helpingbusinesses reach their goals.

Marianne understands the importance of setting goals and having a clear plan to reach those goals. She has owned two businesses, founded a not-for-profit organization for at-risk youth, and was a bodybuilding champion and highly sought-after fitness instructor, having led two youth dance teams to win Gold Medals in the National Junior Olympics.


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