As we learned last week from Deloitte partner Jennifer Lee:  

IMPACT is the ability
to get someone else
to take action

Talk About Talk #112 - Communicating with Impact - image of Jennifer T. Lee
Jennifer T. Lee

There was a common thread in our conversation:

Communicating with IMPACT
means communicating with RESPECT.

Here are three specific ways that we can show our audience a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T...

1. Be Curious

One of the simplest ways to show respect for your audience is to be CURIOUS

Instead of assuming you have all the answers, ask questions.

Talk About Talk #112 - Communicating with Impact - quote by Jennifer Lee, Sr. Partner at Deloitte, on a dark blue background: "There are very different ways of creating impact. It's not about you. It's about the conversation and discovering. And that takes a huge amount of curiosity."

This gives the other person a chance to do most of the talking. It may seem counterintuitive, but the less talking you do, the bigger impact you can make.

2. Try This Interruption Hack

Nobody likes to be interrupted, and yet it’s something that every one us does from time to time. 

Here’s Jennifer’s hack to help her avoid interrupting:

Talk About Talk #112 - Communicating with Impact - quote from Jennifer Lee, Sr. Partner at Deloitte, on a turquoise background: "One of the reasons people interrupt is 'I need to get it out.' You can create a mechanism for yourself to get it out. I started scribbling on paper in a notebook."

As Jennifer says, one of the biggest reasons we interrupt is that we think of something and just need to get it out!

To stop yourself from doing this, try her brilliant interruption hack: carry a notebook with you and when you feel the urge to speak, write it down instead.

I love this!

3. Clarifying Each Person’s Value

When you’re in meetings, do you ever look around the boardroom table (or around the screen) and wonder, “Why is that person even here?”

Talk About Talk #112 - Communicating with Impact - image of three people in a business meeting
Image by shironosov from Getty Images/Canva
(Yes, I know I have!)

As Jennifer so aptly points out, you can elevate your IMPACT if you clarify the VALUE of each person in the room.

There are two main points here.  The first is to always answer the question, either implicitly or explicitly – “What is the value of each person here?”

The second is to carefully consider the relevant points about each person, depending on the context. What’s relevant could include:

  • 🎓 Educational credentials (particularly if they’re more junior)
  • 🧠 Expertise
  • 👍 Unique skills, experience
  • ✅ Successes and achievements…

I can imagine Jennifer leading her team in a client meeting, genuinely CURIOUS to learn her clients’ and team member’s ideas, AVOIDING INTERRUPTING by writing her thoughts in a notebook, and proactively CLARIFYING THE VALUE of each of her team members as they are introduced. 

Thanks again to Jennifer for an impactful conversation

If you know anyone who’d like to learn about communicating with impact, please forward this email to them. THANK YOU!  And if you have any questions, suggestions or feedback, please email me anytime!  

Talk soon,

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