The workplace of the future may look a little different, but one thing that’s not changing? Humans. We will STILL matter. In fact, we will continue to matter more than ever.
Which means we have to find a way to connect, to get along with each other, and to communicate effectively. It doesn’t matter if your team works remotely, has different shifts, or spends all day inside a single shared space – relationships MATTER.
My favorite exercise to deepen relationships and improve communication is something we at launchbox call our GPS Communication Strategy.
GPS stands for Gratitude, Permission, and Share Experience.
I’m going to break down what those three things actually mean (and how you use them in real conversations), but we’ve also got a great worksheet for you to download that goes along with this exercise. You can grab it by skipping down to the bottom. Or you can also follow along as I take you through our GPS Communication Strategy!
Begin by framing your conversation with gratitude. Communication is critical and gratitude is fundamental to having great conversations. Gratitude shows people that you care and that you have their back…even when you have to have a tough conversation with them. Perhaps most importantly, it gets them in the mood to start listening to you!
Sharing gratitude sounds like this:
-“I enjoyed having lunch with you.”
-“I found that advice you shared during our conversation the other day to be helpful.”
-“I’m grateful to have the opportunity to learn and grow in order to serve you and the team better.”
-“The way you handled that interaction with a customer was awesome!”
-“It means a lot to me that you made time to show me that trick with the new program.”
-Or just a simple “Thank you!”
Before you get to the tough stuff, make sure you ask permission. Asking permission to share your experience demonstrates respect and tells the other person that you really care about them. 99% of the time, they’ll say yes without hesitation
Now the #1 thing I hear when I share this strategy with a room full of executives and managers is, “Dan, if I’m a boss why would I ever have to ask permission?”
And there’s a couple reason why you want to do that. Besides demonstrating respect and showing that you care about the person, it cedes a little bit of control to them. When they feel like they have more control, they’ll be a little more comfortable with what comes next. And it sets the listener up to really hear you!
Asking permission sounds like this:
-“Would it be okay if we discussed what happened yesterday afternoon now?”
-“I want to help you grow and deliver value to our customers. Can we go over a few things?”
-“Are you open to some feedback on your presentation?”
Okay, now it’s time for the tough stuff. Start by assuming positive intent (API) on the part of the other person and make sure that what you have to say is delivered without judgment. Stick to the facts, don’t make any assumptions about what was going on in the other person’s head, and make sure you deliver the message clearly.
One way to do this is to describe the situation and what you observed or experienced. Another way you can do this is to share a story of when you felt the same way and what you learned from it.
Share experience sounds like this:
-“I’ve been able to experience your mentorship in this particular way – is that the way you wanted to come across?”
-“What you just said to me came across as harsh. Did you mean it that way?”
Have you used the GPS Communication Strategy in the workplace or at home? Let us know in the comments below. And if you haven’t grabbed our free worksheet designed to help you have great, other-focused conversations, just fill out the form below to get your copy!
Want a little help implementing this with your team? Reach out to us – we love working with companies and teams to help them bridge the gap and build connection!