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Think Fast, Talk Smart – Better Communication

Quick Notes:

  • Take a deep breath. Say "this is me feeling anxious".
  • We're trying to perform.  We're trying to do it the right way.  There is no right way.  There are better ways.
  • We need to have a conversation, not a performance.
  • Use questions.
  • Use conversational language. "This is important to you, because..." instead of "One must consider....A, B, C, etc..."
  • Our brain stockpiles, it tries to figure out how to win the "game".
  • Our brains will also find patterns and use them.
  • You need to train your brain to get out of its own way.
  • In a social situation, we put too much pressure on ourselves to "get it right".
  • We want to respond in a way that genuine and authentic.
  • Dare to be dull.
  • We can think of things as me vs. them. Not as an opportunity. We need to see things as an opportunity.

Game to play:

  • A gives B a gift. Then B opens it and says "Thank you for the ______".
  • They come up with the gift they received.
  • Switch.
  • Come up with the first thing on your mind. Make sure not to use your stockpiled items that you've come up with.
  • Only see what the gift is once you've opened it up. View this as a spontaneous opportunity.
"YES AND" instead to "NO, BUT" re-frame as an opportunity vs. being defensive.

Another game:

  • Tell your partner what fun thing you're going to do today by spelling it.
  • This teaches you to focus and listen.
  • "Don't just do something.  Listen."
  • We have to respond in a structured way.
  • This helps with processing fluency.  Structure helps us remember.
Useful Structure #1
Problem or opportunity  > Solution > Benefit
Useful Structure #2
What?  > So What? > Now What?

More from Matt Abrahams on communication: