Pace and Priority
Welcome to the Ultimate Communication Hack Online Course. My name is Dr. Mary Kay and I am so happy you are here.
We’ll begin this course by learning the top 3 communication hacks:
Recognizing and stopping communication gaps
Identifying the communication pace of your audience; and
How to properly combine pace and priority in conversations
So, let’s get started. You may be wondering . . . what is a communication hack?
A communication hack is a shortcut to quickly achieving a connection with people. But, what do we do when the conversation starts feeling awkward or weird?
Like with people that give you that blank stare of confusion? Why is that?
You think you are having a good conversation and everyone understands the next step, but for some reason, not everyone responds or takes agreed-upon actions. We dream up all kinds of stories as to why these individuals do not follow through and we often think it is their personality or attitude.
What I’ve discovered when working with people, that appear to just not be cooperating, the primary cause is usually a Communication Gap. Yes! You heard that correctly. The other person is on completely opposite sides of the spectrum from me when it comes to Communication.
I want more details; they want me to get to the point.
They want me to communicate my message in an email; I want to talk to them face-to-face.
I want them to lighten up . . . they want to me state the facts.
Because of these different communication preferences or differences, we both get a little testy or frustrated when we don’t receive the type of communication we need from each other. And often that frustration causes us not to hear or understand.
Have you ever experienced this?
When this happens, the manner in which each person is communicating is off-track causing a high level of miscommunication and misunderstanding.
Once you have discovered there is a communication gap, you are ready to put into action, communication hack #2:
Identifying the communication pace of the conversation.
For example, if your communication pace is faster than mine your body language is going to appear hurried. You might fidget, tap your fingers, use gestures to encourage me to speed up. And often you may even unintentionally walk away from me because you think the conversation is over.
Can you see how if you are conversing with someone that has a different pace than you… faster or slower… you have to watch your body language, tone, and words?
A faster-paced communicator has a tone that is elevated, rapid, and presents their message quickly, by talking fast. Very much like rapid-fire headlines or key points on the topic. Additionally, it is common for this type of communicator to interrupt during a conversation as again, they are processing faster can’t help but add their thoughts.
If this doesn’t sound like you then most likely your communication pace, which is your communication preference, is what I call slower-paced.
If your communication pace is slower, your body language is more reserved. You might keep your hands closer to your body, you might squint at the ceiling when you are talking, and your sentences are lengthy and less expressive. And more than likely you’re giving too much information at once which causes a faster-paced communicator to get overwhelmed and stop listening.
Have you had this happen?
You are giving details on how to complete a project and the key member on the project team leaves the meeting and doesn’t do what we discussed. We ask ourselves:
Is this person lazy?
Is this person not capable?
Is this person not detailed oriented?
Nope! 80% of the time we are not matching with this team member’s communication pace.
For example, if you’re talking too fast and the people you’re addressing can’t keep up,
they miss your message. Or, if you’re easing into your message, they’ll get bored and lose focus.
Pace is also relevant to email messages.
If you hurriedly put together a message with little detail, a slower-paced communicator won’t understand. Or if you write a lengthy message, several paragraphs long, a faster-paced communicator will gloss over the message, missing key components, and more than likely just delete it.
So, remember, start with identifying a person’s pace and match it. Just matching Pace creates a connection and makes a huge difference.
Now that we are matching a person’s pace let’s move on to the 3rd communication hack: How to combine pace and priority in conversations.
A communication priority is the content of the message.
For example, what is important to this person when they are communicating?
An easy way to identify a person’s priority when communicating is again to read their body language, tone, and word choices.
Let me demonstrate.
When I am communicating with another person and we are conversing, I am listening to the words and tone while observing their body language. I am thinking which priority is in this conversation right now?
Does the person I am communicating with want to have a social exchange? Which is people-focused.
Or, is this person more matter of fact and want to get the subject matter? Which is task-focused.
So, if the person I am communicating with says “Good morning! How have you been?” the content of the message is people-focused because the conversation starts with a social greeting.
Or, if the person I am communicating with walks up and says, “I reviewed the information you sent me and we need to make a decision on the next step” the content of the message is task-focused because the conversation starts with a task.
This is quite a contrast in pace as the social exchange of “Hey, how have you been?” is not used to start a conversation.
Back wheel, task priorities have an emphasis on discussing the task at hand and getting to the point. I’m sure you have experienced what happens when you do not match a person’s priority. It isn’t good.
For example, if you fail to acknowledge a person with a people priority by not saying “hello” when you pass in the hallway they believe you are rude. If you fail to get to the point and engage in chit-chat with a person that prefers a task priority they believe you are wasting their time.
To Review: Pace and Priority
Let’ do a quick demonstration on how this works so you can get started right away on combining pace and priority in your next conversation or email. I recommend you start with mastering a person’s pace, so let’s practice.
Tell me which pace this is: “Oh my gosh I can’t believe it! “Yes, this is faster pace.
Now let’s try another one.
“In a minute, we will review what we need and then decide.” It’s obvious isn’t it – a much slower pace.
Now let’s take the same phrases and determine the priority.
“Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it!” What is the priority of what I’m saying?
Yes, it is people-focused, because I am expressing my emotions, which is people-focused.
What is the priority of this message?
“In a minute we will review what we need and then make a decision.” Yes, it is task-focused, because I am communicating what we are going to do, which is a task topic.
Now let’s go another step based on our previous answers. When we combine pace and priority we end up with a person’s communication preference, style, or language:
“Oh my gosh I can’t believe it” is: Faster paced, people-focused
Let’s try this one:
“In a minute we will review what we need and then make a decision” is: Slower paced, task-focused
Now let me demonstrate all four communication preferences:
Here is the first one:
“I want it done now”. What is the pace? Faster, Priority? Task
“It had better be right with no defects”. What is the pace? Slower Priority? Task
“Is that Okay, can I help? What is the pace? Slower Priority? People
And the last one:
“Oh, forget it, let’s go to lunch!” What is the pace? Faster Priority? People
Faster/Slower and People/Task
Okay! Now that you know the paces that are Faster and Slower and the priorities of People and Task, remember to only associate these terms with how a person Communicates and Processes a message. Some people think these terms represent the pace of how quickly a person completes a job or their priority for the day.
These Communication Hacks are only assessing the pace and priority of how a person communicates to prevent communication gaps.
Now let’s put this information into practice by forwarding to the next video on how to use these Communication Hacks to develop a Communication Shortcut.