Tag Archives: communication


Effective communication insights  : 7 ways to sharpen rapport

A few insights to help build rapport and by no means an exhaustive list :
* Take a genuine interest in getting to know what is important to the other person. Start to understand them rather than expecting them to understand you first.
* Pick up on the key words,favourite phrases and way of speaking that someone uses and build some of these appropriately and subtly into your conversation
* Be aware of how someone likes to handle information. For example, do the like lots of fine detail or just the big picture. As you speak feedback information in this same portion size
* Keep looking out for the other person’s intention-their underlying aim- rather than what the initially do or say. They may not always get it right,but expect their heart to be in the right place.
* Respect the other persons time,energy,interests,people – they will be important resources for them
* Adopt a similar stance in terms of body language, gestures,voice tone and speed
* Breathe in unison with them

Learning point: 

It is worth reflecting on how you engage with other people and to what extent you set out to develop a strong rapport by linking into and understanding their agenda. Not in a way that you turn it on and off like a tap – but as part of a built in communication skill delivered with unconscious competence 



When aiming to reach agreement:

  • Genuinely seek to find points of agreement in what the other person is saying 
  •  If you just agree with everything there is no contribution
  • To disagree at all times is annoying and irritating 
  • There is no need to be right all of the time so try to control your ego during discussion and focus on the subject matter
  • Make a real effort to understand where the other person is coming from.What is that persons logic world?
  • Consider if there are circumstances where the other persons view might be right, express these circumstances clearly and show your agreement for those specific areas.
  • Acknowledge the value of someone’s special experience and treat this as a strong possibility but not necessarily complete
  • Reject a sweeping generalisation but see If you agree with any aspect of that generalisation when it is more fully explored

sunfloer june13

How to Really Understand Someone Else’s Point of View by Mark Goulston and John Ullmen

The most influential people strive for genuine buy in and commitment — they don’t rely on compliance techniques that only secure short-term persuasion. That was our conclusion after interviewing over 100 highly respected influences across many different industries and organizations for our recent book.

These high-impact influencers follow a pattern of four steps that all of us can put into action.

  1. Go for great outcomes
  2. Be aware of your blind spots
  3. Engage others in “their there.”
  4. Then – Step 4: When you’ve done enough… do more. 

To understand why  step 3 is so important, imagine that you’re at one end of a shopping mall — say, the northeast corner, by a cafe. Next, imagine that a friend of yours is at the opposite end of the mall, next to a toy store. And imagine that you’re telling that person how to get to where you are.

Now, picture yourself saying, “To get to where I am, start in the northeast corner by a cafe.” That doesn’t make sense, does it? Because that’s where you are, not where the other person is.

Yet that’s how we often try to convince others — on our terms, from our assumptions, and based on our experiences. We present our case from our point of view. There’s a communication chasm between us and them, but we’re acting as if they’re already on our side of the gap.

Like in the shopping mall example, we make a mistake by starting with how we see things (“our here”). To help the other person move, we need to start with how they see things (“their there”). 

For real influence we need to go from our here to their there to engage others in three specific ways:

  1. Situational Awareness: Show that You Get “It.” Show that you understand the opportunities and challenges your conversational counterpart is facing. Offer ideas that work in the person’s there. When you’ve grasped their reality in a way that rings true, you’ll hear comments like “You really get it!” or “You actually understand what I’m dealing with here.”
  2. Personal Awareness: You Get “Them.” Show that you understand his or her strengths, weaknesses, goals, hopes, priorities, needs, limitations, fears, and concerns. In addition, you demonstrate that you’re willing to connect with them on a personal level. When you do this right, you’ll hear people say things like “You really get me!” or “You actually understand where I’m coming from on this.”
  3. Solution Awareness: You Get Their Path to Progress. Show people a positive path that enables them to make progress on their own terms. Give them options and alternatives that empower them. Based on your understanding of their situation and what’s at stake for them personally, offer possibilities for making things better — and help them think more clearly, feel better, and act smarter. When you succeed, you’ll hear comments like, “That could really work!” or “I see how that would help me.”

An example:

An interesting example involves Mike Critelli, former CEO of the extraordinarily successful company, Pitney Bowes. Mike was one of the highly prestigious Good to Great CEOs featured in the seminal book by Jim Collins on how the most successful businesses achieve their results.

One of Mike’s many strengths is the ability to engage his team on their terms to achieve high levels of performance and motivation. When we asked him about this, he said, “Very often what motivates people are the little gestures, and a leader needs to listen for those. It’s about picking up on other things that are most meaningful to people.”

For example, one employee had a passing conversation with Mike about the challenges of adopting a child, pointing out that Pitney Bowes had an inadequate adoption benefit. A few weeks after that, he and his wife received a letter from Mike congratulating them on their new child — along with a check for the amount of the new adoption benefit the company had just started offering.

When he retired, the Pitney Bowes employees put together a video in which they expressed their appreciation for his positive influence over the years. They all talk about ways that Mike “got” them — personal connections and actions that have accumulated over time into a reputation that attracted great people to the organization and motivated them to stay.

When you practice all three of these ways of “getting” others — situational, personal, and solution-oriented — you understand who people are, what they’re facing, and what they need in order to move forward. This is a powerful way to achieve great results while strengthening your relationships.

When you’re trying to influence, don’t start by trying to pull others into your hereInstead, go to their there , by asking yourself:

  • Am I getting who this person is? 
  • Am I getting this person’s situation? 
  • Am I offering options and alternatives that will help this person move forward? 
  • Does this person get that I get it?





REPORT WRITING is an important skill for change  and general management:



Your report needs a good Format and structure – it should include most of the following categories:

    • Heading Page
    • Content List
    • Executive Summary
    • Background / Introduction
    • Methods
    • Results
    • Observations /Proposals/Options
    • Conclusions and Appendices
  • An Executive summaryis a real ‘must’ if your report is a really lengthy one
  • An executive summary provides bullet points of all of the main elements of your report
  • It gives the ‘reader’ a snapshot view of the contents
  • It ensures that your main points are emphasised
  • And it conveys a really professional image!
  • An executive summary is easy to create once you have written the complete report


  • The Background or Introduction section should set the scene for the reader
  • It should explain why the information in the report has been put together
  • It should details any problems that have been identified and the effect of any such problems on the content of your report

The METHODS section of your report should explain HOW the information has been gathered

  • What were the sources of information?
  • What format did any investigation take?
  • Was any special documentation used to gather information?

The RESULTS section should detail the results of the exercise – the facts. These can be presented in text or tabulation format, depending on the content

  • If the results are quite short they can be presented within the body of the report
  • Remember that charts, diagrams or graphs can be exported from Excel or PowerPoint and embedded into the body of the report
  • If, however , the results are lengthy consider if they would be better placed as an Appendix

Observations or Findings

  • ObservationsSometimes presenting factual results is simply not enough
  • There might be other influences that should be mentioned
  • You might wish to make your own comments on the subject of the report
  • Observations are not fact-based and therefore cannot be substantiated
  • Observations are your views!

FINDINGS: a findings approach uses substantiated evidence to propose an option or a range of options

The RECOMMENDATION section allows you to make recommendations based on the findings of your report

  • The recommendations could ,  for example  ,be for:
  • Change
  •  Improvement
  • New Ideas /designs
  •  New markets
  •  Investment
  •  Etc

The recommendations should be based on the findings / results detailed in the report

Conclusions describe

How the implementation of your ideas and
recommendations would improve, for example :

  •   Service
  •   Sales
  • Reduced costs
  •  Productivity
  • Performance
  • Your assessment of the outcomes
  • Your evaluation of the benefits
  •  It’s your chance to really ‘sell’ your ideas and recommendations to the reader!
Numbering Report Sections

·         Expect feedback on your report – this could come in writing or verbally

·         Make it easy for the ‘reader’ to feedback by numbering important sections of your report

·         Not only can you number each section but also every paragraph in a section
1.   – Introduction
1.1 – 1st Paragraph of the Introduction
1.2 – 2nd Paragraph of the Introduction
2.  –  Method
2.1 – 1st Paragraph of the Method 2.2 – 2nd Paragraph etc


  •  Appendices allow you to add supporting information to your report. You can attach spreadsheets, forms, questionnaires, tables,charts, articles – in fact anything that will support the content of your report
  • By attaching an Appendix it will allow your report to flow, without  interruption
  • Appendices are usually numbered using Roman Numerals – toget the right effect select the font style ‘Times new Roman’ anduse capital letters e.g. Appendix I, Appendix II, Appendix III etc.


·         A report is compiled of many different elements

·         Always keep in mind the Impact of your report on the Reader

·         The Impact of your report will be dictated by the ‘look’ – so think about it carefully

·         The ‘look’ can help you create a positive image of the writer – YOU!



Peter Cobbe coaching


  • NOW ACCEPTING NEW CLIENTS : Coaching via Skype / Facetime / 1 to 1 meetingsMy career experience includes HR Director and senior executive roles in Barclays plc and Tesco plc leading major transformation and complex change programmes reporting at Board level .I have an MBA, BA and I am a member of the  Association for Coaching. I am an accredited coach with over 12 years of private client coaching experience and as an associate consultant with Penna (UK) dealing with career, life,executive and business coaching and counselling. I work in mentoring and coaching partnerships with executives to help achieve gains of importance to them.I help people of all ages, different cultures and job levels to understand more about themselves, their impact on others and how to develop across major dimensions in life.
    I respect the integrity and confidentiality of my clients building on their existing great skills and abilities and evolving enhanced self guidance : ” No one in the world was ever you before, with your particular gifts and abilities and possibilities.”Specialties: Holistic / systemic approach to coaching
  • Remote coaching via Skype and Apple Facetime
  • Coaching for Executive performance /High Potential including C level
  • Senior Executive mentoring
  • First 100 days
  • Career Coaching/portfolio lifestyle
  • Coaching for powerful presentations
  • Life Coaching
  • Executive advice on staff insight surveys
  • Facilitating key meetings and C- level strategic retreats engaging around people decisions that flow from business choices
  • Business/HR Strategy ,Change Leadership
  • Communications strategy
  • Psychometrics,NLP,Emotional Intelligence
  • Confidence&Self Esteem
  • Creativity coaching
  • Independent Consulting propositions coaching
  • Non Executive director coaching
  • Business Report/White Paper writing
  • Graduate career coaching

Just a thought :

Five frogs are sitting on a log.
Four decide to jump off. How many are left? 

Answer: five. Why? Because there’s a difference between deciding and doing.

Mark Feldman

For a free exploratory discussion on 1 to 1 or Group Session coaching contact me on:



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