I was recently coaching a brilliant scientist. She is world-renowned for her research and was having no problem getting visits. I joined her on a visit.
Despite our plan, she spoke for 20 solid minutes before giving the prospect a chance to engage in some form of dialogue.
Everything she said was good. The only challenge is that it was shutting out the other person. We were – most certainly – skipping right past a host of connections.
On every visit, the prospects were wow’d but not maximized.
To change this, we started to focus on the practice of creating DELIBERATE DIALOGUE.
Deliberate dialogue is the act of intentionally
stopping to create dialogue.
For my scientist friend, we had to be even more specific. The coaching was this:
For every two minutes of ‘presenting’, you should STOP and ask a quick question.
We called this the 2:1 RULE using DELIBERATE DIALOGUE.
This is about INTENTIONALITY!!!
Some people do this very effectively:
I’ve been talking for a few minutes so I want to stop and then see if this is making sense.
Or simply: Does this make sense?
Or, you can set it up: I will talk for a few minutes and pause to see if we’re tracking.
It doesn’t have to be scripted. Most of the time the ‘talker’ just needs to stop long enough for the other person to jump in.
If you’re struggling to ENGAGE with someone else, or
If YOU end up doing all the talking,
be DELIBERATE in creating dialogue.
The benefits are numerous:
- If you’ve lost them, then it’s not by much.
- If there is an on-ramp for the other person, it lets him or her catch it.
- You can listen when the other person is talking.
- When we talk, we become fully engaged. (So let the other person talk.)
- Feedback. Simple.
For the scientist, it was a game-changer.
Note: We’re in the midst of 33 days of our ‘best of’ For Impact Ideas on a Napkin. Check the blog daily for some great reminders.