December 1st, I had the opportunity to attend an IABC event where Master Communicator, Eric Bergman, discussed being truthful versus being transparent- because there is actually a difference.
Here are the 3 main topics Eric spoke about at the event about being a transparent business communicator:
1. On Polarization
Polarization is the opposition of sides. Our goal as communicators is to neutralize these sides through forming an unformed opinion or changing an opinion.
People don’t remember what you say; they remember what they thought about what you said. As long as someone has an emotional attachment, you won’t be able to change his or her mind. To reverse this, make them compare their logic and your logic to create a reasonable, rational, logical opinion. Chances are you will be able to neutralize the polarization.
2. On Transparency
Trust comes from transparency. If you are going to manage polarization, you must answer questions. However, transparency means, “ask me anything you want”, NOT “that’s a good question but let me tell you what’s really important”. Short answers are easier to remember, and answering the question clearly will generate a more positive response.
There are a choice 3 answers to every question:
1. No I don’t have the answer, but I will find out.
2. Yes I know the answer, it’s….
3. Yes I know the answer, but I can’t discuss it.
3. The Art of Answering Questions
The more you try to educate everyone, the less they understand. Ironic, isn’t it?
There is a lot of logic to be explored in Q&A’s, but sometimes business communicators get in the way when answering. Keep “PAS” in mind:
Any question should be able to be answered in 10 words or less. Eric has recorded business communicators answering questions and showed it to them afterwards- he then recommends to do 10 pushups for every word you go over 10 words. You’ll put more value in your words and use less filler.
A big thank you to Eric Bergman for the great tips!
- Jessica Cabral