Elaine Rosenblum Head Shot

How can you negotiate better, improve your self-presentation skills, and prevent misunderstandings that may emerge from e-communications, such as texting and emailing? Elaine Rosenblum, JD, an expert in COLLABORATIVE COMMUNICATION, joined me on “Turn the Page” to share tactics that will enable you to open doors through your written and spoken words.

Listen to our conversation to hear the full range of her suggestions and illustrations.

Elaine states, “To avoid potential miscommunication, SPECIFICITY is as important as shifting from judgmental to neutral language, especially in texting or emailing people you don’t know well, or in professional interactions.”

She provides two examples:

MICHAEL, AN EMORY MBA STUDENT PITCHING HIMSELF FOR A JOB
Elaine suggests to Michael: Instead of  “I think I have the skills to do this job,” let your interviewers know, “I am an Emory MBA with four years of beverage marketing experience at Coca Cola and Starbucks. I can conduct business in English, French and Spanish.”

FROM INDIANA UNIVERSITY TO GOLDMAN SACHS
“Young people interviewing for first jobs typically only have internship experience and minimal workplace skills. It’s imperative for recent or soon-to-be grads to understand “transferable skills” and articulate what makes them uniquely interesting. This Indiana student was a poker prodigy at nine. Few college juniors can own this proposition. Poker also has transferable skills to Wall Street. The Goldman feedback was that telling an engaging “story” about his “poker gift” is what set him apart and landed him the “long-shot” position.  Even seasoned executives have to work to maintain their specificity when articulating.”

MORE ON SPECIFICITY
“Using “them,” “it,” or “that” as reference points in texting may not provide adequate context. While it takes more actual texting words, directly stating time and place or redefining who “them” or what “it” or “that” is can prevent misunderstandings.”

Elaine offers three examples:
Revise “What time are you meeting them?” to “What time are you meeting Susie and Tom tonight?”

Change “What’s bothering you about the erupting situation?” to “What exactly concerns you about the disagreement between Susie and Tom that seemed to arise at the party on Saturday night?”

Instead of “Do you plan to do that?” state “Do you plan to attend the 7:00 pm San Francisco trip meeting on Tuesday, 4/3?”

BOND IN WRITING…AND FACE-TO-FACE
“While verbal communication typically evaporates after we say it, written communications survive and can serve as meaningful reference points. Communicating with clarity is a leadership skill and way of standing out in a professional world that demands immediate communication and moves too quickly. In personal relationships, SPECIFICITY builds invaluable trust and enhances the bonding that we crave and continually seek out on social media.”

In emphasizing how we can communicate to avoid unnecessary conflict and strengthen interpersonal connections, Elaine suggests that we avoid OVERRELYING on the written word: “The emotional satisfaction of a face-to-face conversation is difficult to replicate on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.”

RESOURCES THAT WILL GUIDE YOU TO “YES”
Improve your outcomes by going deeper in honing your collaborative communication skills. Elaine recommends: “Getting to Yes” by Roger Fisher and William Uri; “Alone Together” by Sherry Turkle; and the ProForm U™ blog by Elaine Rosenblum.

Learn about ProFormU™, Elaine’s consulting and mentoring firm, which “teaches students and professionals at all levels to articulate, collaborate and negotiate in virtually any setting.”

While we focused on the tactic of specificity in this post, Elaine shares other requirements and nuances of collaborative communication in our conversation on “Turn the Page.” Here’s the link for you to listen now.


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