In episode 10 of Clarity in Conversations, my guest is Geof Cox. Geof has his own consultancy company called New Directions for over 25 years now, and he is the author of two very practical books about influencing and communication skills. “Getting Results without Authority - The new rule sof organisational influence” was published in 2010, and introduces a simple yet powerful model for influencing people who use different personal communication styles. Ten years earlier, in 2000, Goes already published Ready - Aim - Fire problem solving - A strategic approach to innovative decision making.
Geof is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. He started his career as a line and HR manager in the oil industry with Esso Petroleum. As an independent consultant, he advises companies and facilitates workshops on management and communication skills, and designs and facilitates international leadership development programs.
Geof also is a colleague of mine, with whom I’ve been in front of groups frequently. And that’s been a pleasure always. Geof succeeds to have a vast database of theoretical background and great anecdotes about company life. But he uses this knowledge in a very practical way, succeeding to give people tools they can use the next morning in the office.
We’ll talk about his model for effective influence: the model he uses as the starting point for his book Getting Results without Authority. When you have to rely on personal rather than positional power when influencing somebody, you’d better recognise the preferred style of that person and then choose consciously which style to use yourself to achieve results. The four styles - ACTIONS, PROCESS, PEOPLE and IDEAS, are distinctly different.
In the podcast we talk about the importance of adapting to different styles when you want to have a high quality conversation. Yes, you want to provide clarity. But for one person clarity consists of concrete actions, for another person it consists of clarifying the vision, and for someone else it’s all about giving logical and rational explanation for what you need to get done.
I reflect on the interview with Els de Maeijer, researcher Communication and Innovation at Fontys University of Applied Science in The Netherlands. Els starts with a question this time, wondering how to recognise the style fo your influence target when that person doesn’t wear a sticker on her head telling you what personality type she is. And of course, the podcast concludes with 3 practical tips to enhance the Clarity of your Conversations, in the office and at home.