Earlier this week at eWorld Procurement & Supply we were lucky enough to sit in (and participate) in Christopher Barrat’s thought-provoking workshop on communication tactics.
Christopher benefits from real life experience in the procurement world, having been a procurement director for a major blue chip organisation. For the last 12 years he has spoken and worked with companies all over the world to help them with commercial communication skills.
At eWorld Christopher explained the key role that networking and collaboration play when working to undo entrenched behaviour.
Christopher’s steps to success:
Gathered in groups of 8-10 we were told to think of someone, (preferably at work but it can be from home life too) with whom we were having a challenging time.
If we didn’t feel comfortable being open about who this person actually way, we could have given them a pseudonym.
Now we had to think of some specific circumstances where we interacted with this person – we were told to be quite detailed – i.e where/when/what exactly happened on this occasion. This didn’t necessarily have to be a big or dramatic event, just something that was meaningful and challenging to us.
Looking at the aforementioned PAC diagram, we were told to think about the position we were going to adopt (as well as the position our antagonist took).
In order to help us gather our thoughts, PAC can be broken down into these respective behaviours/attitudes:
P: This is our ingrained voice of authority, absorbed conditioning, learning and attitudes from when were young. We were conditioned by our real parents, teachers, older people, next door neighbours, aunts and uncles. Our Parent is made up of a huge number of hidden and overt recorded playbacks.
A: Our ‘Adult’ is our ability to think and determine action for ourselves, based on received data. The adult in us begins to form at around ten months old, and is the means by which we keep our Parent and Child under control. If we are to change our Parent or Child we must do so through our adult state.
C: Our internal reaction and feelings to external events from the ‘Child’. This is the seeing, hearing, feeling, and emotional body of data within each of us. When anger or despair dominates reasons, the Child is in control.
Note the adult position – Christopher suggested that if we both ended up on this then maybe we should think again…
Armed with our positions we laid out the PAC circles on the floor, and in our groups discussed each of our difficult interactions. The next step was to physically stand on the relevant descriptor and talk through the sorts of things you would say (and do) from that position, as well as how the other person would be responding.
Finally, we moved ourselves to the Adult position. If we had adopted this stance at the time of our difficult exchange, what would be going through our minds? And how would we have talked and interacted with the other person knowing what we now know?
Next time you are trying to deal with a difficult colleague, why not go through the steps outlined above? Try and control things, so ultimately you’ll both be able to see eye-to-eye.