It has happened to us all in retail; you are talking to someone, a peer, a colleague, a fellow manager, Ronald McDonald and you can see that they are not listening or even paying attention. Frustrating? Hell Yeah!What happens when the information that you are sharing doesn’t get captured due to your audiences lack of an attention span or inability to think about anything else besides themselves? Well, not only did you waste your time, but the chances of launching a program, instating a new procedure or even reviewing your audiences performance has gone from 100% to zero!
Therefore the cause and effect of not having a captive audience is simple.
A game of Broken Telephone will be born and the resulting misinformation will be shared and downloaded to your Teams from the messenger. Trying to correct misinformation is like pushing a ten ton truck up hill. Nearly impossible.You will need to relaunch a program due to it not being launched correctly the first time. This is a huge pain in the ass since it not only takes away more time from your busy schedule, but there is a cost associated with this that wasn’t budgeted. Try to explain this when you were recently directed to cut back labor due to overspending….Good luck with that my kind sir.Decreased Team Member engagement due to the “Latest and Greatest” six million dollar program, that everyone attended and raved about at a resort in Las Vegas, was not implemented accordingly.Gaining someones attention starts with you. Before attempting to gain their attention you may want to ask yourselves the following questions.
- Am I prepared for this meeting and confident that you can pull this off? Confidence not cockiness (Ha! I used the word cockiness) will gain your audiences trust. Cockiness will only stiffen their trust in you.
- Am I a SME (Subject Matter Expert) that can answer the questions your audience may have. If not become one. Now!
- Did I set the expectations and clarify the reason for having this meeting. How do you know if you did? Was it because of the usual Team Members who suck up to you told you so? Or did just simply ask your audience member to repeat the expectations to you.
- Are there any scheduled interruptions during this time. Yes? Cancel them. Now! This means your enemy, your nemesis, the one that creates the most stress in your life gets turned off. No, not your better half, but your smartphone.
These points are all fine and dandy like Randy who is quite handy, but getting someones attention is only half of the battle.
The other half is how is your NOW CAPTIVE audience going to remember and retain the commandments that are being reviewed by the almight you?
- Set the expectations, ruled from the start by letting them know that the information being shared needs to be rolled downhill.
- Ask your audience to shut off their smartphones.
- Demand, yes Demand, that everyone takes notes. How they take notes is up to them. I like to use my tablet, sometimes toilet paper..Hey, whatever works for you or them.
- About five minutes and every ten minutes afterwards, ask your audience to repeat what you just said in an annotated form. This will not only demonstrate to you that they are paying attention, but will validate their understanding and ability to share the information.
- After the conversation is over, set your expectations, and send an email asking them to summarize your meeting with them. Please ensure within this email you indicate that you require a response that the information is clear and will be executed (if necessary) by a certain date.
Guess what…You now have a record of the conversation you had and now have a foundation to stand on if the appropriate actions were not taken. How many times have you asked for something to be done, but you had no proof of your request and your Team Member says “uuuhhh, we never had that conversation.” BOOOYA you do now.Remember that this is a two way street. What works for downloading also works for uploading and if not already a habit of yours, start now
You can’t fake listening. It shows.
― Raquel Welch
It all sounds simple…but YADDA, YADDA, YADDA, should have been in place to make it happen since the start.Enjoy the veal as I am outta of here.
Have a PHENOMENAL day.