The Art of Change Skills for Life

Ideas. Insight. Inspiration.

Speak to the Need Part 4

June 9, 2008 Persuasion 7

I’ve covered the four communication needs, action, accuracy, approval and appreciation, and shared with you how these needs get communicated through the style or structure by which a person speaks. In previous posts I wrote about the need for action and for accuracy,  and the need for approval. Today we’ll cover the need for Appreciation

Appreciation = Energy and enthusiasm

The person with a need for appreciation will speak directly and enthusiastically. Using exclamations and personal stories this person works to grab attention and evoke feelings, in order to hold the spotlight of your attention (and by inference, your appreciation for what they have to say.)

“I feel that we ought to do this, and I’ll tell you why. I’ve given this a lot of thought, because it’s important to me. “

“And it ought to be important to you, too, because after all, there’s a time and place for it, and this is that time, and this is that place.”

And you may be wondering why they’re going on and on about it. Blending reveals that when a person is direct and enthusiastic, you want to be direct and enthusiastic in your communication with her.

As I have suggested, the best way to apply communication needs-style approaches in your efforts to make your persuasive communication more powerful is to practice.

Practice delivering your persuasion proposition using all four of these communication need-styles: action, accuracy, approval and appreciation.

Your Persuasion Efforts

Once you hear where someone is coming from…, you have a vector of approach for your persuasion efforts.

1) When dealing with action-focused communication, just cut to the chase.

2) When dealing with accuracy driven communication, go step by step, and do not require any leaps of faith.

3) When dealing with approval seeking communication, be considerate and patient, and use relationship language, like ‘we’, ‘us’, ‘you and me’, and ‘the team’.

4) When dealing with appreciation-centered communication, use acknowledgement and enthusiasm to create a spotlight effect with your words.

Change is inevitable, but progress is not. Discover how YOU make the difference.

Be well,

Dr Rick

Related Posts

1. The Art of Persuasion: Improving Your Communications with Useful Assumptions

2. The Nature of Sanity


7 Responses

  1. J.D. Meier says:

    Good distillation and distinctions.

    How to blend in a group scenario?

    How to use enthusiasm if you’re not enthusiastic in the moment?

  2. Thanks for the comment J.D. To blend with a group, you can either assess the group’s communication need-style based on previous interactions in a similar context, or do as I do, and assume the presence of all four need-styles and proceed accordingly. If participating in the group, it’s less of an issue. I recommend that you reserve the right to speak until you’ve taken in as much as possible, really heard the needs, motives and interests of all others present. When speaking, give the action part, then the details behind it, frame it to speak to the shared interest and share your own enthusiasm for what you recommend by saying why you recommend it.

    According to Ralph Waldo Emerson, nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. So just what is enthusiasm? It’s a great excitement for, or interest in, the topic under discussion, the group having the discussion, or the idea that you recommend. Surely, one can always find something to have a great interest in or excitement about. But great doesn’t necessarily translate into loud. Instead, one can have a quiet excitement that shows in your eyes, in your body language, in your phrasing, in your sincere connection to what you recommend. If you’re persuaded, others are more likely to be persuaded. (I will add the corollary, if you’re not interested or excited, if you’re not persuaded, do yourself, the group, and your cause a favor, and don’t say anything until you are!)

    Even verbally, enthusiasm shines through. For example, can you tell how enthused I am about answering this question?

    be well,

  3. J.D. Meier says:

    > reserve the right to speak until you’ve taken in as much as possible
    If you need to be persuasive, that’s actually a very effective approach. That’s what effective influencers do. I was somewhat aware of this scenario, but while reading the book “Thank You for Arguing” it hammered it home. The author wrote that if you wait until the end and summarize the perspectives, it puts you in a position of “the voice of reason.” Everybody’s been heard and now they’re ready to listen to you. Once the book pointed this out it was easy for me to see a lot of scenarios where certain people continuosly got support simply by waiting until the end (sadly, there ideas weren’t usually the best, but they simply spoke last in a way that sounded like the voice of reason.)

    > if you’re not interested or excited … don’t say anything until you are
    I agree, though it makes for very disconnected exchange when engineers and marketers collide. Here’s what I see — the more a marketer speaks enthusiastically, the more the engineers withdraw or resist. The less enthusiastic the engineers speak, the less the marketers are interested. I never see either side succeed when they have fake enthusiasm (it’s incongruent and people detect and reject incongruence.)

    Interestingly, the toughest interaction patterns I see are the opposites of the Insights color wheel (red with green, blue with yellow.) For example, the common “blue” / thinking engineer with the “yellow” / excitement of marketing.

    I can appreciate the engineer/marketer scenario. The most common interaction I see is, the marketer is “selling” an idea and the engineer is trying to convince the marketer it’s a bad idea. There’s no way the engineer is going to start with enthusiasm since internally the feeling is strong aversion to the idea. The only enthusiasm would be a passionate counter-argument, but that just leads to heated debate.

    I can imagine the ideal scenario is the engineer starts with enthusiastic *agreement* to build rapport and then leads down the path of a better solution (assuming they have a solution vs. just black hat critic.) It sounds to me like what you’re suggesting is the most effective way, if you’re the engineer, is to start your disagreement enthusiastically. I suppose the most effective way is to focus on your counter point enthusiastically, but starting with paraphrasing/empathy (the trick is to not focus on their point that triggers the negative, aversive reaction.)

  4. In the engineer/marketer scenario you describe, I gather that the engineer has the need for accuracy, and sees the devil in the details, whereas the marketer is excited about the broad brush stroke of his or her idea. Is that it? Is the question, then, how, if you are the engineer in this scenario, do you blend and redirect so as to prevent a bad idea from being adopted? How do you introduce the negatives in a way they can be heard? I want to be certain I understand the persuasion proposition in this scenario. If that’s it, let me know, and I’ll do my best to give you an accurate response…

    best wishes

  5. J.D. Meier says:

    > Is the question, then, how, if you are the engineer in this scenario, do you blend and redirect so as to prevent a bad idea from being adopted?
    I think that’s it. To punctuate the point, imagine an engineer with a strong aversion to the idea — so imagine an initial reaction of repulsion vs. enthusiasm. How then … to start with the blend?

  6. Ok, seems to me that the repulsion would be a VERY wrong signal to send. If I were that engineer in that situation, I would breathe into my feelings, sort by recognizing that the marketer has at least a little and maybe a lot invested in that idea, and at minimum would like some appreciation for having it, offering it, and championing it. And that’s what I would blend with. . I’m going to make up some names here. We’ll call the marketer Tom and the Engineer Jerry. So it might sound something like this
    “Tom: Which is why this is the greatest way for us to get this done!”
    “Jerry: Gosh, Tom, you have obviously put in a lot of time, energy and creativity into this. So first things first, thanks for coming up with an idea for how to make this happen.”
    (Pause, let it sink in. A congratulatory moment for Tom where he really has a chance to receive the appreciation…which in my case would be real, because I do appreciate when people offer ideas, even if their ideas are less than optimal. At minimum, they provide a starting point or reference point for discussion. They indicate interest. And my bias is for people to stay connected into the team or group rather than falling out over a difference of ideas.

    Jerry now has some options about bringing forth the problems with the idea. One option would be to PMI the idea (plus, minus, interesting.) Another option would be to frame the response as “I want to make sure we feel as good about whatever idea we adopt after the fact as we do about hearing it for the first time. With that in mind, I’d like to know, how does your idea address these items…” (and then list the concerns and invite Tom’s response,) or “I have a few concerns and I’d like to hear your thinking about them. Let’s start with X. Tom, how does your idea take X into account? ” or “How can we make sure X is taken into account?”
    I think you get the gist of it. Because this is so completely hypothetical, I’m going to limit my response to what I’ve said here. But suffice it to say, there are numerous options besides the two I’ve offered. The key is to start by blending before redirecting attention anywhere else. And in this case, giving appreciation is the light of enthusiasm that allows Tom to get his communication needs met, and allows Jerry to change the course of the interaction.

  7. […] Speak to the four communication needs.   Once you recognize which of the four communication needs somebody is speaking with (action, accuracy, approval, or appreciation), you can speak to the need.  To speak to action, get to the point (“cut to the chase”.)  This might include being commanding or authoritative.  To speak to accuracy, speak indirectly and give the details (go “step-by-step”)   This might include asking questions or making long statements to establish facts or stimulate thinking.  To speak to approval, speak in a friendly, indirect, and considerate way (use relationship language, like ‘we’, ‘us’, ‘you and me’, and ‘the team’.)  To speak to appreciation, speak directly, with energy and enthusiasm (create a spotlight effect.)  See How to Speak to the Need: Blending with Need-Style – Part 1 , How To Speak to the Need: Blending with Need Style – Part 2 , How To Speak to the Need: Blending with Need Style – Part 3, and How To Speak to the Need: Blending with Need Style – Part 4. […]

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