Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fabulous Formula to Speak Strong

Good communication skills are essential for successful leadership. Recently, I have been reading a book on learning to communicate clearly by Meryl Runion called SpeakStrong.  In her book Meryl shares her favorite formula for effective communication: "Say what you mean and mean what you say without being mean when you say it."

Meryl also shares with readers three other formulas that I want to share with you here.

1. The FACE formula to address issues and ask what you want.
The FACE formula has four parts to it - the facts, appreciation, consequence or cost, and expectation.

Facts: Begin by describing the facts.  This is the observable kind of information you collect first hand.
Appreciation: Once you explain the facts, use your appreciation statement to create safety.
Cost/Impact: Next is your consequence statement, where you talk about the impact of their actions for you, them, and others.
Expectations: Finally, it's time to make your request. That's the expectation.

Just remember to FACE your problems, and you'll be able to Speak Strong.

2. The CASE formula to address conflict.
Sometimes, all you have to do is ask, and you receive. Other times, you need to ideas, explore issues and negotiate outcomes. That's when the CASE formula comes in handy.  Here's how this formula works.

Clarify: Begin by exploring their position, attitudes, and perspectives. Keep asking questions and exploring until you have confirmed that you understand them.
Assert: Once you both agree that you understand them, explain your own perspective. Refer back to the FACE formula for this.
Seek solutions: You and the other person should sit side-by-side looking at the problem in a mutual effort to find solutions that work for all concerned.
Evaluate: Review the ideas you came up with and build agreements based on them. Make sure the options you select are realistic and everyone is willing to commit to them.

3. The ACT formula to say no.
You might think saying "no" should be simple, but most everyone I know has a problem with that simple two-letter word. That's why the ACT formula is so helpful.

Acknowledge the request: The first step is to acknowledge the request with a simple phrase.
Circumstance: Then briefly explain your circumstance that is the reason why you're declining.
Tag: Close with a tag phrase that affirms the relationship.

Meryl, also shares the 5 C’s of Responsible Leadership:

Clarity results in conviction: a clear commitment to your beliefs.
Conviction inspires courage: The “courage” of conviction.”
Courageous leaders are willing to use candor in their communication.
Candor lends itself to creative expression.
Creative expression adds clarity to your position.

These formulas provide the framework to communicate powerfully and effectively. Master these skills for the quick edge you need to make any conversation turn out right.

If you like any of these formulas for effective communication and want to share them with others you can get full color PDF poster for free at

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