Ceo Leading A Town Hall Meeting To Communicate Company Goals.

Key Takeaways

  • Effective leadership communication can be specific or vague, each serves a unique purpose in team dynamics.
  • Specific language provides clear direction and reduces confusion, it is crucial for action-oriented messages.
  • Vague language fosters open-ended thinking and creates vision so it can be strategically used to inspire and engage teams.
  • Leaders must balance specificity and vagueness to communicate effectively, depending on the context and desired outcomes.
  • Assessing the impact of communication style on team performance helps leaders refine their approach for better results.

Decoding Leadership Language

When you are steering your team through the ever-changing waters of the business world, your words are more than just words. They are the compass that guides your crew, the wind that propels your sails, and sometimes, the anchor that grounds everyone during a storm. But when it comes to leadership communication, is it better to be as specific as a GPS or as open as the horizon?

Let’s explore the effectiveness of both specific and vague language in leading a team to a desired outcome.

Setting the Scene for Effective Communication

Imagine you’re leading a team meeting. You have a project deadline looming, and the team is looking to you for direction. This is your moment to shine, to communicate in a way that not only informs but also inspires. Before you open your mouth, think about this truth: effective communication is the bedrock of successful leadership and it’s not just about your words; it’s about your manner, the scope of your vision, and the clarity of your message.

Painting the Big Picture vs. the Details

Now, picture this: You’re setting the scene for a new project, and you want your team on board.

Do you start with a broad stroke, painting the big picture and the vision for what’s to come? Or do you dive right into the fine details, outlining every task and deadline?

Your instinctive approach is probably defined by your own personality and preferences, but as a leader, you need to think further out than that. You’ll need to think about the people on your team and, especially if you’re addressing a larger group, you’ll need to follow tested universal principles. The answer is somewhat situational, so you’ll need to use your judgement and decide whether the situation calls for vivid imagery and an inspiring vision, or the nitty-gritty details.

The Case for Specificity

When your team needs to know exactly what to do, when to do it, and how to do it, specificity is your best friend. It’s like giving your team a detailed map with the location of the treasure marked with a large X. Specific language leaves little (or no) room for misunderstanding and ensures that everyone is on the same page.

Why is clarity a winner in some team settings? Because it streamlines communication and action. It cuts through the noise and focuses everyone’s attention on the specifics of the task at hand. It’s the difference between saying, “We need to improve our customer service,” and “How can we reduce our response time to customer inquiries to under two hours by the end of this quarter?”

Do you see the difference?

Steps to Crafting Concrete Messages

To craft messages with absolute clarity, follow these steps:

  • Define the objective: Start with the end goal in mind. What exactly do you want to achieve?
  • Break it down: Divide the objective into actionable steps. What are the specific tasks that will lead you to your goal?
  • Assign responsibility: Make it clear who is responsible for what. There’s no room for guesswork here.
  • Set deadlines: Attach a timeline to each action. This creates a sense of urgency and keeps the team on track.
  • Provide resources: Ensure your team has the tools they need to succeed. That could include access to people, information, training, or materials.

Remember, specificity is not just about giving orders. It’s about providing a framework within which your team can confidently operate. When they know exactly what’s expected, they can unleash their full potential without the paralysing doubt of uncertainty.

Balanced Communication for Leaders

As a leader, striking the  balance between giving specific directions and allowing room for innovation is key. It’s like mixing colours on a palette – too much of one can overwhelm the other, but the right combination creates a masterpiece. This balance is not only an art but also a science that can be learned and perfected over time.

Combining Specificity with Ambiguity Effectively

To combine specificity with ambiguity, start by providing clear expectations. Then, invite creativity by posing open-ended questions or challenges. For instance, after outlining a project’s objectives and deadlines, you might ask, “How can we approach this in a way that’s never been done before?” If you keep asking “What else could we do?” Until you have a list of 20-100 ideas, your team will be forced to think outside the box within a defined framework.

Another approach is to set ‘guardrails’ – non-negotiable standards or principles – and then give your team the freedom to navigate within those boundaries.

Real-life Examples of Balanced Leadership Talk

I was working with a logistics company that was launching a new service. The CEO came to his team to paint the vision of why they were doing this, what it would do for the company, and how each person in the room would benefit when the outcome was achieved. He knew exactly who they were aiming at, what numbers would make it profitable, and the key features that needed to be delivered.

His presentation was a masterpiece of  universal language that painted a dramatic picture and iron-clad numbers and specifics. Then he asked the team for their creative input on more details. The innovative outcome was a product that everyone was excited about – and that achieved their targets much faster than expected.

By clearly defining the ‘what’ and ‘why’ but leaving the ‘how’ open, leaders can foster an environment of creativity and ownership.

The Impact on Team Performance

A leader’s communication style can make or break a team’s performance. Specific language helps in executing tasks efficiently, while vague language can spark creativity. However, the overuse of either can lead to problems. Too much specificity might stifle innovation, and too much vagueness can cause confusion.

Too much encouragement can lead to complacency and when encouragement is non-specific, it often comes across as insincere or formalised. On the other hand, a lack of praise can be demotivating and lead team members to decide it’s not worth putting any extra effort into their work.

How Communication Style Influences Team Dynamics

Communication style directly affects team morale, engagement, and ultimately, productivity. When leaders communicate with clarity, team members feel secure in their roles and responsibilities. Conversely, when leaders use vague language appropriately, it can give team members the space to contribute ideas and feel valued for their input.

It’s a delicate balance that depends on knowing the personalities in your team. Leaders must read the room and understand their team’s dynamics. Some teams may require more guidance, while others thrive on autonomy. It’s not just about what you say, it’s about knowing your audience and tailoring your message accordingly.

Assessing the Reactions to Direct vs. Indirect Guidance

Observing your team’s reaction to different communication styles is crucial. Do they seem motivated and clear on their objectives with specific guidance? Or do they appear more engaged and innovative when given a broader vision? These reactions will guide you in fine-tuning your communication approach.

  • Notice body language and verbal feedback during meetings.
  • Track the quality and timeliness of work following different types of communication.
  • Solicit direct feedback from team members on their preferences.
  • Adjust your style based on the complexity and novelty of the task at hand.

Actionable Strategies for Leaders

To become adept at using both specific and vague language effectively, you need to practice and refine your strategies. Here are some actionable steps to take:

Sharpening Your Linguistic Tools

Think of your words as tools in a toolbox. Just as you wouldn’t use a hammer to screw in a bolt, you wouldn’t use vague language when detailed instructions are necessary. Work on expanding your vocabulary to include both precise terms for clarity and open-ended phrases for inspiration.

Practical Exercises to Enhance Your Leadership Vocabulary

Practice rephrasing statements with different levels of specificity. For example, take a clear directive like “Submit the report by Friday at 3 PM” and rework it to be more open-ended: “Let’s aim to wrap up our findings and have a discussion on them before the weekend.” Practice this regularly to become more comfortable with shifting your communication style.

Experiment with different word-pictures and different levels of specificity. You might be surprised to discover how your team responds to an impactful vision-setting statement before you dive into the mechanics… Or you might discover that that distracts them from the task at hand.

Notice what happens when you shift from the general vision (inspiring outcome statement) to the specific how-to-get-there statement.

There’s a reason why accomplished orators and seasoned politicians use general statements like, “Yes we can.” Or “We will never give up.” and avoid specific road maps like: “We’re going to tax fossil fuels and double the fixed cost of your gas installation energy bills.” The former statement creates warm fuzzy feelings and confidence, the latter statements tend to offend a large portion of the electorate – even if they agree with the overall goal.

Remember, the ultimate goal is to inspire effective team communication. By mastering the use of specific and vague language, you can guide your team to new heights of collaboration and success.

Role-playing with team members is another powerful exercise. Practice giving instructions, feedback, and motivational speeches, switching between specific and vague language. As you do so, observe how you feel and how the other person responds. If you can, video the interaction so you can watch it again later. This not only improves your flexibility in communication but also builds your confidence in using the right style at the right time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Effective leadership communication often raises questions about when to use which style and how to balance them. Let’s address some of the most common inquiries.

Leaders should use specific language when clear instructions, deadlines, or expectations are needed. This is especially important in situations where precision is critical, such as during a crisis, when setting goals, or when providing feedback on performance.

Yes, vague language can be more effective when a leader wants to inspire creativity, encourage brainstorming, or allow team members to find their own solutions. It can also be useful when addressing larger, more diverse audiences where specifics may not apply to everyone or may be offensive.

To practice balancing communication styles, observe and reflect on the outcomes of your interactions. Adjust your language based on the context and the people you’re addressing. Seek feedback from your team on your communication and be open to making changes.

A common misconception is that leaders must always be direct and authoritative. In reality, effective leadership communication is about flexibility and understanding the needs of your team. Another misconception is that vague language is always negative; however, it can be strategically used to empower and engage your team.

Cultural context is crucial in leadership communication. Different cultures have varying expectations and norms regarding communication styles. Leaders must be culturally sensitive and adapt their communication to respect and effectively engage with team members from diverse backgrounds.

Practicing the balance between specific and vague language involves being mindful of the context and the desired outcome. Pay attention to the nuances of each situation and the people you’re communicating with. Here are a few tips:

  • Before communicating, take a moment to consider the purpose of your message and the best style to convey it.
  • Use specific language to establish a clear framework, then switch to a more open-ended style to invite participation and ideas.
  • Seek feedback from your team on your communication effectiveness and be willing to adjust accordingly.
  • Reflect on past communication successes and failures to identify patterns and improve your approach.


One common misconception is that good leaders always have all the answers and must communicate with unwavering certainty. In reality, leaders who are open to dialogue and admit when they don’t have all the answers can build trust and foster a collaborative team environment. Another misconception is that being vague is inherently negative, when in fact, it can be a strategic tool for empowering your team.

Cultural context can greatly influence how messages are received and interpreted. What is considered clear and direct in one culture may be seen as rude or abrasive in another. Similarly, a communication style that is appropriately vague and open-ended in one cultural context might be perceived as unclear or evasive in another. Leaders must be culturally aware and adapt their communication to the norms and expectations of their team members’ diverse backgrounds. This sensitivity not only shows respect but also ensures that the intended message is effectively conveyed and understood.

In conclusion, effective leadership communication is not a one-size-fits-all approach. It requires a careful balance between specificity and vagueness, tailored to the context and the needs of your team. By mastering both styles, you can guide your team with clarity and inspire them with vision, leading to greater engagement, innovation, and success.

Middle Aged Businessman Talking With International Investment Partner While Riding Glass Elevator To Office In A Modern Business Center. Corporate Associates Shake Hands On Successful Deal.

Key Takeaways

  • A successful elevator pitch succinctly conveys your business idea or proposal within a short timeframe.
  • It should be engaging, persuasive, and tailored to your audience’s interests and needs.
  • Key elements include a clear value proposition, a compelling hook, and a call to action.
  • Practicing your pitch ensures confidence and the ability to deliver it effectively in any situation.
  • Real-life success stories demonstrate the power of a well-crafted elevator pitch.

What Makes an Elevator Pitch Successful?

An elevator pitch is like a first impression—you only get one shot at it, so it had better be good. But what does ‘good’ look like? Imagine you step into an elevator and find yourself face to face with someone who could change the game for your business. You’ve got just a few floors to make an impact. This is where your pitch comes in. A successful elevator pitch is concise, clear, and compelling. It’s not just about what you say, but how you say it. You need to be memorable.

Your pitch should answer three key questions: What do you do? Why does it matter? And what do you want the listener to do next? Nail this, and you’re on your way to making that impactful first impression.

If you think the ‘elevator’ concept is outdated, this story may change your mind. Recently, I went to the US and Mexico on holiday. On my way home I ended up in a hotel elevator with a group of Salesforce executives who were at their annual conference. They asked the question: “What do you do?” – and my answer impressed them so much that we ended up exchanging business cards because they’re interested in having me train their sales team. That’s a powerful elevator pitch!

Core Elements of a Captivating Elevator Pitch

So, what are the ingredients for that perfect pitch? Think of your elevator pitch as a mini-advertisement for your idea or business. It should include:

  • A clear value proposition: What problem are you solving? How does your solution stand out?
  • A compelling hook: Start with a statement or question that grabs attention.
  • A brief explanation: Give just enough detail to pique interest without overwhelming.
  • A call to action: What do you want your listener to do after hearing your pitch?

Remember, the goal is to engage your listener, not to close a deal on the spot. You’re opening the door to a conversation, not trying to barge through it.

Understanding the Audience for Maximum Impact

Before you even start crafting your pitch, you need to know who you’re talking to. Tailoring your message to your audience is crucial. A pitch to a potential investor should highlight different aspects than one to a prospective customer or partner. Ask yourself: What’s important to them? What are their pain points? How does my idea fit into their world?

This means you need to research your audience. The more you know about them, the more you can personalise your pitch to resonate with their specific interests and needs. This isn’t just about being polite; it’s strategic. It shows you’ve done your homework, and it demonstrates respect for their time and expertise.

Let’s break this down with an example:

Imagine pitching a new health app. If you’re talking to an investor, you might emphasise the market opportunity and revenue potential. But if you’re speaking to a doctor, you might focus on the app’s ability to improve patient outcomes. Same product, different angles.

Create Your Winning Elevator Pitch

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive into creating your pitch. This is where you turn your idea into a compelling story that will stick in people’s minds long after the elevator ride is over.

Step-by-Step Guide to Crafting a Pitch

First, grab a pen and paper, or open up a new document on your computer. You’re going to want to write this down. Follow these steps to build your pitch from the ground up:

  1. Identify your goal: What’s the desired outcome of your pitch? Be specific.
  2. Define your audience: Who are they, and what do they care about?
  3. Outline your value proposition: Make it clear why your idea is worth their time.
  4. Develop your hook: This is your opening line, make it catchy.
  5. Explain the essentials: Cover the what, how, and why succinctly.
  6. End with a call to action: Tell them what you want them to do next.

Once you’ve got the bones of your pitch, it’s time to practice, practice, practice. Say it out loud. Time it. Make sure it’s under two minutes. The more natural it feels, the better you’ll deliver it when it counts.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid in Elevator Pitches

Besides that, there are some common traps many fall into when delivering their elevator pitch. Let’s make sure you sidestep these:

  • Being too vague: If they can’t grasp what you’re offering, they won’t bite.
  • Overloading with jargon: Keep it simple so anyone can understand.
  • Speaking too fast: Nerves can make you rush. Breathe, and pace yourself.
  • Forgetting to listen: A pitch is a two-way street. Engage with your audience.

Remember, an elevator pitch is not a monologue. It’s the start of a dialogue. You’re not just talking at someone; you’re inviting them into a conversation about your idea.

Balancing Brevity and Persuasiveness

Brevity is your friend in an elevator pitch, but so is persuasiveness. It’s a delicate balance to strike. You’ve got to be quick, but you also need to make a strong case for your idea. This is where every word counts. You want to distil your message down to the essentials without losing the punch. It’s like a poet crafting a haiku; the constraints force you to be more creative and impactful.

For example, instead of saying “We’re developing a multifaceted platform that leverages user-generated content to drive engagement,” you could say, “We’re building a community where everyone’s voice can be heard, and that’s driving our explosive growth.” The second is not only shorter but also packs more of an emotional punch.

Incorporating Storytelling to Engage Listeners

Humans are wired for stories. They’re how we make sense of the world. So, when you’re crafting your pitch, think about the story you’re telling. Who’s the hero? What’s the challenge they’re facing? How does your idea help them overcome that challenge? A good story makes your pitch not just heard but remembered. It can be as simple as: “Imagine Sarah, who’s juggling a career and a family. Our app helps her find ten extra hours a week by streamlining her tasks.” That’s a story that sticks.

Refining Your Elevator Pitch for Different Scenarios

One size does not fit all when it comes to elevator pitches. You need to tweak your message depending on the scenario. Whether you’re at a networking event, in a meeting with potential partners, or deliberate a presentation to potential customers, your pitch needs to adapt. The core message remains the same, but the emphasis shifts based on what your audience cares about most and how long you can hold their attention.

Let’s break it down further. When you’re at a networking event, your pitch might be more casual and focused on building a relationship. In a formal meeting, you’ll want to be more detailed and data-driven. And when you’re talking to potential customers, it’s all about the numbers and the potential for return on investment.

Adapting Your Pitch for Networking Events

At networking events, your pitch should be like a friendly handshake – warm, inviting, and not too forceful. You’re there to connect, not to sell. So, focus on what’s interesting about your idea or business. Make it conversational. You might start with a question or a surprising fact that leads naturally into your pitch. And always be ready to listen and adjust your message based on the response you get.

Tailoring Your Pitch to Potential Customers

When you’re pitching to potential customers, it’s a whole different ball game. They’re listening with their wallets, not just their ears. They want to know about the opportunity. So, while you still need to be brief, your pitch should be packed with solid facts and figures that show you’ve done your homework and that your business knows what it’s doing.

Elevating Your Public Speaking Skills

No matter how good your pitch is on paper, it’s your delivery that will seal the deal. Public speaking can be nerve-wracking, but it’s a skill that can be honed with practice. Your confidence, clarity, and charisma can make all the difference in how your message is received. So, take every opportunity to practice your pitch: in front of the mirror, to friends, or at local pitch events. The more comfortable you are with your pitch, the more naturally it will come across.

Mastering Non-Verbal Communication

What you say is important, but how you say it is just as critical. Non-verbal cues like eye contact, gestures, and posture all play a part in how your message is perceived. For instance, maintaining eye contact shows confidence and helps establish a connection with your listener. And a firm stance conveys that you’re grounded and believe in what you’re saying.

Voice Control and Projection Techniques

  • Stand up straight and use your diaphragm to project your voice.
  • Practice varying your tone to keep your listener engaged.
  • Use pauses effectively to emphasise key points.

These techniques not only help ensure you’re heard but also that you’re delivering your message with the passion and enthusiasm it deserves. Remember, it’s not just the words you choose, but your voice that carries them to your audience.

And let’s not forget about the power of the pause. A well-timed pause can create suspense, highlight a point, or simply give the listener a moment to absorb what you’ve said. It’s a powerful tool in your public speaking arsenal.

By combining a well-crafted message with polished delivery skills, you’ll be able to make the most of those precious few minutes in the elevator—or anywhere else the opportunity arises.


Now, you might have some questions. Let’s tackle a few common ones to give you an even clearer picture of what makes for a winning elevator pitch.

Ideally, it should be no longer than 60-90 seconds. That’s enough time to intrigue and inform without overloading your listener.

Absolutely! Anytime you need to explain an idea quickly and effectively, an elevator pitch can come in handy.

Focus on your unique value proposition, the problem you’re solving, and why your solution is the best choice. And don’t forget the call to action.

Use a brief, relatable anecdote that illustrates the problem your idea solves. Make it personal and evocative.

As often as possible. The more you practice, the more natural it will feel, and the better you’ll be able to adapt it on the fly.

Armed with these tips and techniques, you’re now ready to craft an elevator pitch that’s not just good, but great—one that opens doors and takes your idea to the next level. Remember, it’s not just about getting it right; it’s about making a connection that could lead to your next big break. So, go ahead, step into that elevator with confidence and watch as your pitch takes you to the top floor.

Need Personalised Instruction or a Second Set of Ears?

Knowing what to do is just one piece of the puzzle. The real challenge is actually doing it. Life Puzzle has been working with clients to develop and refine their elevator pitches and Sell From Stage qualities for many years. Our students have sold tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of services and products using the techniques we teach.

Our free Elevator Pitch Tool Kit is a great starting point as it guides you through the thinking behind a successful pitch. In our Confident Conversion Course you can get feedback on your pitch and personalised instruction about how to make it more effective.

A Young Girl In Yellow And Green Attire Watches The Australian Team At The Women's World Cup From The Stadium, With A Blurred Background.

What’s Unique About Sales Training in Australia?

Every country has its own unique culture, and Australia is no different in this. Popular sales training tools and techniques from the US and Europe don’t always work here – which is why Life Puzzle’s sales training focuses on developing people rather than teaching techniques.

Actually, the landscape of sales in Australia presents unique opportunities as well as challenges which means that when you understand the mindset and values of the companies you work with and the people within them you can deliver extraordinary results.

Let’s delve into why tailored sales training matters and how understanding the local market can set you on the path to success.

The Importance of Tailored Sales Training that Focuses on Personal Skills

In the vast and competitive field of sales, one size does not fit all—especially when it comes to sales. Natural sales people possess a keen instinct for what’s really going on inside the head of a prospective customer and the ability to ask questions that draw that out. However, these incredibly valuable natural skills can be learned by anyone who has the motivation and interest in doing so…

IF they have access to skilled trainers and the opportunity to

  • Practice,
  • Get feedback, and
  • Reflect on their experience.
  • Customised training programs that work with your team’s specific needs and develop their soft sales skills can not only transform their sales performance, but also impact team dynamics and leadership skills leading to greater likelihood of a long and successful partnership..

Core Components of Effective Sales Training

A well-rounded sales training program is the backbone of a successful sales team. So, what makes a training program effective and how transferable are those skills?

Here, are the essential components…

Product Knowledge Mastery

True mastery of the product or service you offer is non-negotiable. Your team must have in-depth knowledge of the problems you solve – and the ability to identify problems that your product or service can’t solve. That way they’ll confidently handle any customer queries and they’ll also know when to tell prospects that they should look elsewhere…

Developing Communication Skills

The art of persuasion and influence lies in communication. Training your team to communicate effectively can not only increase the rate of closed deals, it can also build trust. The prospect who feels that they were heard and understood is far more likely to buy – and to buy again.

Harnessing the Power of Digital Tools

In the digital age, understanding and using digital tools effectively can give your team a competitive edge. Life Puzzle’s customers have access to our customised sales system dashboards that make tracking progress and communicating with prospects and customers easy. This helps your team members to hit their objectives and provides clarity.

Strategies for Team Sales Support

“A cord of three strands is not easily broken.”

We take this principle seriously at Life Puzzle and concentrate on multi-strand operations that promote autonomy and performance. Just as our Leadership Program accelerates organisational culture building and performance, the same principles applied to our sales training significantly boost your team’s sales performance and boost integrity and authenticity.

Role-playing and Real-life Scenarios

Practice makes perfect and we use it to strengthen the myelin connections in every team member to develop their instinctive responses and hone their intuition. Like every other form of influence and persuasion, improving sales performance has as much to do with the rapid ability to assess the verbal and non-verbal communications you are receiving and respond appropriately. Role-playing and scenario-based training can prepare your team for real-life situations, helping them develop quick thinking and effective response strategies.

Tracking and Analysing Performance

Data-driven insights are invaluable. In addition to tracking and analysing your team’s performance to identify areas for improvement and celebrate successes, it’s important to help each member of the team be aware of their own metrics and conscious of how they can improve.

Of course, it’s not just the sales team that needs to understand these metrics – business owners need to understand the relationship between sales, profits, and other areas of the business.

Building and Sustaining Client Relationships

Long-term success is built on strong client relationships. An important part of sales training is learning the art of nurturing client relationships to ensure sustained business growth as they stay with you and refer others to you. That’s an important reason why we believe that sales activity cannot be separated from the delivery and client experience aspects of business.

Innovation in Sales Techniques

Your sales strategy needs to evolve with the world around you. Stay ahead by embracing innovation and encouraging your team to think outside the box in all areas of your sales process. In the post-Covid world, you’ll find that clients are responding to the personal human touch, and one of the challenges for growing businesses is to find ways to maintain that human touch and use automation behind the scenes to ensure that you take every opportunity to follow up with authenticity.

Integrating Local Cultural Nuances in Sales

Pretending that all Australian businesses share a uniform set of cultural preferences is foolish. They don’t. But they do share certain characteristics that some imported sales techniques overlook. To be honest, at Life Puzzle, we don’t teach scripts and templates – we develop people who can sell – who can communicate – and who can observe, learn, and adapt to individual situations.

We have streamlined the process for learning these tools and we hear from clients how our programs affect so much more than mere sales results, but if you’re looking for a cookie cutter 1, 2, 3, approach then we’re probably not for you because our focus is on developing people’s skills and helping them grow.

Upgrading Your Sales, Australian Style

In the ever-evolving world of sales, staying informed and adaptable is key and the best way to do this is to bolster the skills underlying your communication. Life Puzzle’s Australian-based sales training for business owners and teams is not just about learning techniques; it’s about embracing a continuous whole-person-focused learning mindset.

What we’ve discovered is that the businesses who develop the soft-skills of all their team members are the ones who have least difficulty recruiting new team members and retaining existing ones – both of which characteristics are key factors in your growth.

Equip your team with the right skills, nurture a collaborative environment, and keep innovating to stay ahead in the competitive Australian market.

Talk to us Today

To learn more about our tailored
Sales, Leadership & Training Programs

“The ability to deal with people is as important as being able to read, write, and count.”

~ John D. Rockefeller

If you own a business – or if you are a professional and want your career to progress – the ability to communicate effectively and persuasively is a necessary skill. At Life Puzzle, when we say that Sales is the #1 Life Skill we’re not talking about bullying people into saying “Yes” to products, services, expenses, and ideas they don’t need to want – we’re talking about helping people discover whether they would actually benefit from your products and whether it would be an investment or an expense.

The truth is this skill will make every facet of your life better because instead of pushing people to do what you want them to do, you’ll be helping them discover for themselves whether or not a course of action will add value. It’s just as helpful to a parent motivating their children to do homework or practice the piano as it is to the manager motivating their team or the employee suggesting improved tools or practices to their boss – and it’s WAY more effective than hoping that ‘quiet quitting’ will get your point across.

The Importance of Soft Skills Training

I’ve lost count of the number of C-suite executives and team managers who tell me that they have people on their team with fantastic technical skills, but whose lack of confidence and ineffective communication skills are holding them back from promotions and (more importantly) hampering their effectiveness. It’s not that they don’t have the knowledge and skills needed to perform the job… It’s that they can’t motivate, support, and lead others towards a goal so their contributions get lost.

Sales is the heartbeat of any company or career at all times and in all places – but especially when the economy is uncertain. Whether you’re an employer looking for top-tier staff or an employee looking for a job that is both challenging and well-supported, your ability to sell yourself and your skills goes far beyond the traditional definition of ‘sales’.

Whether you are the business owner, department head, or an individual keen to make yourself more valuable, investing in soft skills training is the secret sauce to keep growing and  thriving.

Communication Skills are Critical

Soft skills training – especially the art of reading people’s minds through active listening and appropriate conversation – is an essential skill for future managers and talent in service businesses. Soft skills are like the secret spices in your grandma’s famous recipe – they make everything taste better! These skills include communication, emotional intelligence, adaptability, teamwork, decision-making, and leadership – all the stuff that makes you a likable human being. These skills aren’t just good for making friends; they’re critical for building rock-solid customer relationships, crafting memorable customer experiences, closing sales, and developing trust and authority with your internal team.

Sometimes it seems like there’s not enough time to do this during meetings… colleagues, clients, and prospects are busy and so you respect their time and just stick with transactional communications. This keeps things efficient, but it fails to cement the relational bonds that create loyalty and trust and are just as important in leadership and team roles as in traditional sales roles.

Outstanding communication skills will not only help leaders motivate their teams more effectively and team members connect with each other, it will also help service and sales representatives connect with existing and potential customers and understand their needs so that every interaction strengthens your connection.

You Were Created to Communicate… Instantly

I’ve already mentioned the time issue. We’re all too busy to communicate so we fall into  transactional mode.
But… What if you could cut to the heart of communication faster?
What if everyone could feel heard and cared for without hours of chatter?
What if you had an open environment where concerns and ideas were listened to, advice given, needs assessed, and new options were created faster?
Wouldn’t that change the atmosphere, enthusiasm, and energy in your workplace?
You know it would.
At Life Puzzle, we’ve spent more than 20 years working out ways to implement all that we know about authentic sales, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), emotional intelligence, and motivation so that you and your team can get results faster and with less effort.

Our coaching programs not only help you move past those pesky limiting beliefs and thought patterns that could be holding you back from greatness. They also help you build rapport almost instantly with colleagues, customers, and prospects; forge unbreakable relationships, and create positive experiences that customers crave.

How Soft Skill Training Changes Your Outcomes

Business is about results and outcomes. I don’t know any successful business that focuses on processes and doesn’t care about results… That conviction has shaped our approach to training – both for leadership and sales.

We’ve seen that a high performing sales team with ineffective business leadership is often a flash in the pan. They might get first time customers, but they don’t get renewals – because the trust and overall consistency isn’t there.

Just about everyone knows that people return from trainings excited and motivated, determined to change… But a couple of weeks later they’ve lost their edge and are back to business as usual, their enthusiasm chilled by the status quo. It gives training a bad name.

We set out to change that perception with our multi-level transformational programs that are most effective when applied over a whole organisation or department. Like our personal development programs for individuals our organisational training programs don’t just teach the theory, they turn theory into practical experience and positive feedback, and practical exercises into habits that will supercharge your ability to see, hear, feel, and process what others are telling you (both verbally and non-verbally) at record speed and respond appropriately and affirmingly, in ways that lead to the outcomes you want.

Chandell offers an array of programs like Ready Set Sell, Confident Conversion, and more. These programs help leaders sharpen their communication skills, boost emotional intelligence, and motivate others.

These programs can also be customized to suit your organisation’s specific needs and accelerate your progress toward your goals. If you’d like to learn more about what we can do for you, fill out the form below to schedule an appointment.

Head to for more and you can learn more about out programs HERE.

Team, Group And Staff In A Meeting, Finance And Investments With Support, Project Feedback Or Negotiation. Business People, Collaboration Or Men With Women, Budget Planning Or Review Financial Report

In today’s fast-paced business environment, the ability to effectively motivate a team is more critical than ever, especially for Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs) aiming for rapid growth or transfer of ownership. Many founders see their managers struggle with this aspect of leadership, which not only stalls their growth trajectory, but also makes leadership transition a challenge. We’ve all seen – or experienced – the problems that arise when a visionary and effective founder passes a thriving business on to a new generation of leaders and performance plummets. 

At Life Puzzle, we’ve developed a unique multi-tiered leadership training to address these challenges directly.

Here are the 5 Biggest Problems we see and how they impact motivation and action:

1. Lack of Clear Vision

Founders and business owners can usually articulate their vision clearly – which is why they are successful. Many managers don’t have that same level of clarity so they are unable to articulate a clear, compelling specific purpose for their team. We see this at every level which is why our training doesn’t just focus on ONE level of management – our multi pronged approach recognises that leadership is involved at EVERY level of an organisation, and we use that knowledge to accelerate growth. A study we conducted last year revealed that 70% of employees feel more motivated when they can clearly see how their work aligns with the company’s goals, so we create processes that bake in reminders and constantly refreshes alignment naturally.

2. Inadequate Skills in Recognizing and Utilizing Team Strengths

Every team member has unique strengths and weaknesses, but managers often struggle to recognize and leverage the strengths and account for weaknesses. Through our programs, managers learn to identify individual talents and delegate tasks accordingly, ensuring that everyone is primarily working in their zone of genius.

When anyone is asked to work in an area of weaknesses, managers are aware of this and able to offer appropriate support. This not only boosts productivity but also increases job satisfaction among team members.

3. Poor - or Inadequate - Communication Skills

Communication is the bedrock of motivation. A manager who does not communicate effectively in a timely fashion can expect misunderstandings, reduced morale, and a lack of direction. Communication is a skill that needs to be used and developed consistently – we call it a ‘use it or lose it’ skill. Misunderstandings occur, and pressure situations can interrupt normal communications but it’s very easy for managers to use these as an excuse to slip into bad habits, especially if they have a natural affinity for texting and email rather than picking up the phone or scheduling face-to-face meetings.

Our training modules include advanced communication skills, focusing on clarity, empathy, and active listening, equipping managers at every level with the tools to foster a more cohesive and motivated team.

4. Lack of Effective Feedback Mechanisms

Feedback is crucial for growth, yet many managers either avoid giving feedback or deliver it in a way that demotivates the team. We teach managers the art of giving and receiving constructive feedback that encourages growth and development, while also implementing continuous feedback mechanisms to promote a culture of continuous improvement. One of the most transformative elements of our approach is that managers learn how to receive feedback and train their teams to provide it effectively so that we effectively create ‘talent hotbeds’ after the form described in Daniel Coyle’s “The Talent Code”.

5. Inability to Inspire Trust and Sense of Responsibility

Trust and  a sense of personal responsibility are key to motivation. Managers often fail to create an environment where team members feel trusted and empowered to carry out their tasks. Our training emphasizes on building trust and empowering teams and the individuals within them. This fosters accountability and a sense of ownership among team members and it also relieves the need to micro-manage projects because the lines of delegation and the principles and processes have been clearly articulated.

Chandell’s Observations

“I remember the moment I realised that a multi-level leadership training could accelerate the transformation and provide a healthy culture in any organisation. I’d been working with one particular team for 2 years and their team members were asking for some tools to help them grow as well. 

The CEO agreed to a trial in one of the departments and at the end of 3 months the difference in productivity, motivation, and performance was clear. One of the unintended consequences of expanding the program throughout the company was that they suddenly had highly qualified candidates begging for job opportunities and their staff turnover dropped to nearly zero. A second unintended (but definitely hoped for) consequence was that clients were flocking to them as well so their revenues dramatically increased. It was like unlocking a new level of potential in both myself and the team.”

Why Choose Life Puzzle for Leadership Training?

At Life Puzzle, we don’t just talk about change; we create it. Our hands-on approach, NLP background, tailored content, and experienced trainers ensure that your managers and employees at every level, not only understand these concepts but also apply them effectively in their roles. 

Our goal is to transform every member of your organisation into present and future leaders who inspire, motivate, and drive growth.

Are you ready to unlock the full potential of your team? Let’s talk about how working with us can transform your future. 

Back View Of Man In Business Suit Giving A Speech On The Stage In Front Of The Audience

In a world where casual conversations abound and words are seemingly tossed around like leaves in the wind, it’s easy to believe that language holds little significance – until you run foul of cancel culture. But is that really all we need to worry about?

The notion that words are mere fleeting expressions is misguided – which is the reason why totalitarian regimes through the ages have redefined or eliminated words. You can see this in Soviet-era dictionaries, and it’s highlighted in George Orwell’s famous novel “1984” where the intentions of the ‘thought-police’ (actually word-police) is spelled. The reality of word-power for political and philosophical purposes is clear – let’s look at it’s place in our own communications and it’s impact on our ability to lead and motivate others effectively and excel in selling our ideas and products.

The Significance of Names and Words

Long ago, in many parts of the world and diverse cultures, one’s ‘true’ name was a closely guarded secret, shared only with those held in utmost trust. People were known by their ‘common’ names from birth but received their ‘true’ name, often during puberty or initiation, reflecting their inner character and gifts. Beyond names, words themselves held immense power, giving rise to the belief in spells and chants. These had to be carefully crafted to be effective in healing, harming, or creating.

Twentieth-century totalitarian regimes exploited slogans, chants, and the manipulation of language to brainwash and control people. Then came the advent of television, a medium that could sway and shape public perception. This history demonstrates the compelling influence of words and language on human behavior and thought.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)

In Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), it is asserted that the language we use significantly shapes our neurology, influencing the way we think, which then affects our actions and results. This concept underlines the idea that the words we use to describe ourselves, situations, or other people, matter deeply because they sculpt our perception of reality and make us more or less susceptible to external influences.

Consider this: When you are resourceful and empowered, you can uplift and empower others. Conversely, when you undermine yourself with negative self-talk, you inadvertently undermine those around you.

How might that truth affect people you lead and work with?

Mindful Language

If words truly matter, then it is imperative to be conscious of the language you employ when communicating with yourself, others, and in addressing various situations.

When was the last time you really reflected on the words you speak to yourself, to others, and the internal conversations and images you create when thinking about ideas and plans of action?

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  1. Self-talk: If you were talking to your best friend, would you say to them what you silently say to yourself? Choose to create a positive atmosphere and forward momentum by using language that you’d be comfortable with others overhearing.
  2. Conflict Resolution: How do you respond to a colleague, child, or relative (or yourself) when they have made a mistake? What words can you use to help them take responsibility and work toward a solution without feeling that they have failed for life.
  3. Reason and Action: How can you bring the voice of reason and constructive action into a world often filled with panic about global and local issues that wants to see everything in black and white.
  4. Acts of Kindness: What is something practical that you could do in a difficult situation to show compassion and thoughtfulness and help others know they have been heard – even if they won’t get what they want. Sometimes it’s as simple as offering a kind word, a tissue, or a cup of water, to let the person know you see them.

Remember, your choices, particularly your choice of words, may not move heaven and earth, but they can certainly bring sunshine into your life and the lives of others, thereby changing your life.

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
~ Mother Teresa

Your Words Matter to Your Business

Your words matter, not only in how you relate to yourself but in your leadership and sales endeavors. The way you communicate with others and frame situations can have a profound impact on your success.

Consider taking control of your linguistic patterns to shape your neurology positively. If you want practical guidance and support, Life Puzzle has programs that can help you build a vibrant internal culture where communication is both efficient and effective AND a strong sales culture to boost your revenue and profitability.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you grow. Click HERE to book a call with our coaches. 

Robot Hand Typing On The Computer. The Concept Of Artificial Int

“Your prospects and clients have their BS detector on high alert these days.
The old adage, ‘people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care’ has been heightened
by the growing fear that you might not even be talking to a human being.

The service businesses thriving right now are the ones who are
unquestionably human – even if that comes at the cost of perfection.”
~ Chandell Labbozzetta

In today’s rapidly evolving technological landscape, artificial intelligence (AI) has become an integral part of our lives. From voice assistants to autonomous vehicles, the influence of AI can be felt in almost every industry. However, a certain amount of suspicion has crept in alongside this transformation and your customers are asking…

What do I REALLY want?

Often, their answer is: a human being to talk to.

The Role of Human Communication

Human communication is the foundation of human society. It’s the basis of relationships and that indefinable sense of connection and communion. Today’s AI is pretty amazing, but neuroscientists have tested some of the most sophisticated models against a 10-month old baby… And the baby wins.

Of course, the baby can’t articulate everything that it absorbs from the humans around it, but unlike an AI artefact, it can learn and react without being trained. This is a crucial reality to keep in mind when it comes to the role of human-to-human communication in your business… An AI assistant will be more consistent, less likely to make mistakes (when properly trained), and more economical than a human, but if you don’t have humans available (warts and all) your customer service and long-term relationships with clients will go downhill.

AI as a Tool, Not a Replacement

Once you see AI merely as a tool rather than as a substitute for human interaction you are in a great position to make wise decisions about your sales and customer processes. AI can deliver output (the quality of which is dependent on the inputs it is given), but human communication goes far beyond the exchange of information; it encompasses empathy, emotional intelligence, and the capacity to understand complex ideas and evaluate intricate situations while relating to others. These qualities are essential for creating a motivated, productive workplace with a healthy culture and are the reason why in-person meetings, phone calls, and video calls are more effective than texts and emails in certain situations.

Amplifying Influence and Leadership Skills

As an NLP Master Trainer specialising in corporate training, I have witnessed firsthand the transformative effects of effective human communication in the workplace. By harnessing the power of personal communication, leaders can amplify their influence and inspire their teams in ways that are far more effective than the most persuasive email.

Here are the Three Facets of In-Person Communication:

  • Active Listening: Leaders who actively listen to their employees create an environment of trust and mutual understanding. By genuinely hearing concerns and ideas, leaders can foster a culture of innovation and collaboration.
  • Non-Verbal Communication: Body language, facial expressions, and gestures play a significant role in how our messages are perceived. A skilled communicator understands the importance of non-verbal cues and uses them to convey empathy and build rapport as well as to identify disapproval and resistance.
  • Verbal Persuasion: Leaders don’t just listen and observe, they also need to proactively influence others to embrace their vision and goals. Effective persuasion involves understanding the needs and motivations of your audience and tailoring your message accordingly.

Embracing the Union of Technology and Human Connection

AI technology is an exciting tool, but it’s just that. It is up to us to use this technology in a way that enhances human connection and supports our long-term goals. I’m noticing two distinct bands of response to AI:

  1. Those people who embrace it with excitement and want to deploy it at every possible point. I equate these people to the handyman who gets a new tool and wants to use it for every job – even the ones for which he already has a great tool;
  2. Those who avoid AI like the plague and see it as a danger to humanity’s ongoing existence. AI has its dangers – like therapeutic drugs – but rejecting all applications of AI out of fear risks missing out on its substantial benefits.

I believe we need to deliberately embrace a balanced approach which uses AI and yet maintains a distance. This is particularly true when you are leading an organisation and shaping the response of your team to innovation and future-thinking. Ask the questions you would ask for any other investment or new program or hire that you were about to make.

As you venture into the world of AI, make sure that you prioritise the development of your team’s communication skills and emotional intelligence because those are the characteristics that will set your organisation apart from competitors who leaned too far into jungle of robots and lost connection with their customers and staff.

Don’t Get Distracted by AI

In an AI-focused world, it is easy to become mesmerised by the capabilities of technology and dive down the rabbit-hole of possibilities that it offers. It’s definitely worth exploring these things and implementing them in your business. At the same time, unless your goal is to build a commodity business, you should always ensure that you are strengthening the human element of your business and prioritising efforts that inspire, motivate, and bring out the best in your colleagues and clients.

As creative leaders and effective managers, our goal is never merely to maximise efficiency. It is always to create a harmonious and prosperous workplace where people can flourish, grow, contribute, and make the world a happier and healthier place.

White Cyborg Finger About To Touch Human Finger 3d Rendering

“The greatest sales people in the world respect their buyers and leave them feeling confident that they have just made a fantastic decision that will help them achieve their goals more easily.”
~ Chandell Labbozzetta

The Impact of AI on YOUR Sales Numbers and Influence

AI is actually something of a red herring.

The truth is that we’ve all been using AI in the background for years without ever thinking much about it, but now it seems as though people are worried that it will take their jobs, their clients, and their business away. For some people that may be a real threat, but here’s the good news… It’s up to you whether AI is the promise of abundance or the threat of scarcity. That outcome is something you CAN control!

I’m working with sales professionals and leaders in many different fields who are using AI to accelerate and empower their sales results. For example, Jenny is using AI to locate ideal clients and research their background so that she can direct her conversations and focus on their highest goals. It has enabled her to get to a 91.3% close rate, more than doubling her sales value with less time spent and ensuring that she has a waiting list of highly qualified clients. Anna is using AI to motivate her team and help them track their performance more actively – as a result, individuals have discovered new strengths as well as ways to overcome weaknesses and plug the holes in their system. For both of them, AI has been the tool they never realised they were missing that enables them to fully use the human potential in themselves and their collaborators.

How is that possible?

It simply requires that you recognise what AI is good at and use it to help you track and perform those actions, while also letting your human side shine. AI is like your calendar or your PA on steroids – helping you plan and organise more effectively so that you have more time and energy to do the things you do best.

What Does it Mean to be Authentically Human in Sales & Leadership Anyway?

Scripts are powerful. They give us guidelines – rather like a rope in a cave – but when we depend on them too much, they turn human beings into tools and robots.

It doesn’t matter if you are delivering a formal sales presentation, having a phone conversation, or an in-person meeting… A script can be deadening or it can deliver results – depending on the other skills you bring to the conversation.

A recent example of this was shared during a session in which we played recordings of real conversations. It comes from a performance discussion:

Manager: How’s it going, Sally?
Sally: I’m having a terrible week, my cat had to be put down on Sunday.
Manager: Oh. (Brief pause) Well, how do you feel that’s going to affect your numbers this week?
Sally: (sounding disinterested) They’ll stay about the same.
Manager: Are you sure? I’d hate to see you lose your bonus.

I mean!!! Here you have two people face-to-face in the same room and all the manager can say is, “Oh!” before continuing on with the planned conversation. I’d have to say he deserves to feel threatened by AI because that was about as scripted and inhuman as you can get.

If Sally had been talking with a chat bot it might have at least been programmed to offer a response to her news about her cat.

As it happens, this manager has been passed over for promotion several times because he has not worked on his listening and conversational skills. He feels like he’s good at his job, organised, and cares about the company so he deserves a promotion. He doesn’t understand that leadership isn’t about competence as much as it is about influence which comes from being human and relatable.

I could have told you some equivalent examples from sales calls and presentations where the individual ignored the cues from his audience and pressed on with his prepared message. You can probably think of some yourself.

Effective sales people (and leaders) can tune into their audience, they know how to listen and pick out the key phrases or emotions others need to hear, and they can respond appropriately to other people and then return to their presentation or script gracefully, leaving the other person feeling they have been heard… And, therefore, open to listen in turn to what you are saying.

What is the Difference between Authentically Human Sales and Traditional Sales Strategies

“The person with the most flexibility controls the situation.”

Traditional Sales Strategies can be a little like the manager I quoted above – so focused on the script and the message that they can’t manage to deal with any variations. Really effective sales people may use the same strategies and scripts as others, but they have the ability to pay close attention to the person in front of them, to listen closely, and to make adjustments to their language, mannerisms, and the way the present the facts.

In a thriving economy, scripts and systems are incredibly effective, but when things get tough, it is the connection and relationship that dictates the outcome. That means that you need the flexibility of authentic humanity and the more powerfully you can project that, the more effectively you will be able to sell you product, service, or idea to others.

The era of heavily scripted and automated sales is over. If that is your preferred (or only) method of selling it’s time to expand your range… Or you really will be an AI casualty.

Leadership and Sales - the Power Couple!

If you think that your ‘Sales Team’ are the only ones who need to know how to sell your products and services then it’s time to reevaluate your approach. When I tell people that Sales is the #1 Life Skill, I often get pushback and a request to explain why I say that because it seems to me that when it comes to things people fear, if Public Speaking is the top contender and Death is second, then Sales is in third place. I get that… If you’re thinking of the pushy, sleazy sales tactics that are often associated with used cars and real estate…

BUT – the truth is that we are all selling

  • Ideas
  • Behaviours & Habits
  • Products & Services
  • Choices

… Unless we stand back and take the approach which lets other people dig their own grave if they don’t immediately resonate with the advice we offer.

Natural consequences are great teachers – yet, as parents, friends, colleagues – and certainly as leaders – there are many lessons we’d all prefer to have our children or others learn from advice rather than experience.

That is why leaders in every context need to hone their sales skills and their ability to choose the right examples, present them appropriately with language and images suitable for the person listening to them… So that you can deliberately and purposefully lead others to examine their options critically, choose wisely, and follow through diligently.

How to Accelerate Your Sales Skills in a Changing World

As I’ve mentioned previously, sales skills aren’t just about selling products and making money – and they’re certainly not about manipulating others for your benefit at their expense. If the idea of ‘sales’ leaves a nasty taste in your mouth then you probably need to make a determined and decisive effort to reevaluate your position.

If you aren’t averse to ‘sales’ but recognise that your current skills aren’t sufficient for the future challenges you anticipate then you probably already know that I’m going to suggest that you improve your ability to:

  • Listen actively
  • Ask probing and powerful questions
  • Accurately observe others’ behaviour
  • Use appropriate language
  • Build strong connections
  • Create powerful visions of the future

Your question is probably:

“How can I take my existing knowledge to the next level?”

My answer:

“Knowledge is not enough. You also need to practice, experiment, and get feedback.”

Which is why I’m excited that we can once again hold in-person events!

My Leadership Sales Summit is designed to guide you through this way of selling in an authentically human fashion so that both parties feel valued and end with a sense of satisfaction and a stronger relationship. This is not ‘merely theory’ it’s 2 days of solid practice and learning with the goal of enhancing your skills.

Click HERE to email the team and register for Early Admission and join us for this powerful and transformational experience.

Robot And Human Hand Making Fist Bump
Part 1 of this series can be found HERE: Unleash Your Communication Superhero and Boost Your Sales Naturally

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
~ Maya Angelou

“Every effective sales person knows that a script will only take you so far. Every parent or boss knows that you can’t argue people into commitment. Every leader knows the power of conviction and authenticity.”
~ Chandell Labbozzetta

More than Words - The Secret of Convincing Others Every Time You Speak

Mindset has become the new sales buzz word for a reason: we now have the tools to measure the impact a person’s emotional state has on those around them and we can see what happens  to participants when you walk into a sales meeting believing that you won’t make the sale.

In 2008, Alex Pentland published a book Honest Signals: How They Shape Our World based on his studies in non-verbal communications at MIT. While there have been other books on similar topics, this is the first publication to rely on brain technology and other tools to objectively measure these signals. He and his team measured the effect of that mysterious quality known as ‘charisma’ – a synthesis of mindset and comportment and discovered that they were able to make direct correlations between the depth and quality of the non-verbal signals people unconsciously emit and their results in:

  • Closing sales
  • Attracting grants and other funding
  • Getting buy-in for plans and ideas from colleagues, connections, and crowds.

There are two incredibly exciting implications of this research that apply to anyone who thinks of themselves as a leader (for whom sales is the #1 skill) or a sales professional:

  1. Every human being who chooses to do so can learn to amplify and project the kind of positive energy (charisma) that creates sales; and
  2. AI cannot project emotion in ways that humans connect with – even if they mimic emotional intonations and use the right words.

Emotional Quotient - Charisma - Mindset… The Secret of Creating Powerful Personal Connection

I’m not a big fan of buzzwords. They carry too many loaded (and often inaccurate) connotations although they can also provide a useful shorthand for complex ideas. However, the first two of these words (Emotional Quotient – Charisma) are usually used as a statement of a fixed attribute: you either have them or you don’t. This means that they are used to assess candidates for leadership or sales as a threshold, rather than as a skill that can be learned and expanded.

That’s like saying, “I’m bad at maths so I’ll never learn to count.” Or “I’m not built to run a marathon.” I bet that even Mozart struggled to play a tune the first time he sat down at the piano.

In my book, Confident Closing: Sales secrets that grew a business by 400% in six months and how they can work for you! I tell the story about the sales team I was assigned to transform and how a diverse group of ‘sales failures’ learned to create powerful personal connections and deliver sensational results. What I don’t mention in the book is that the exercise wasn’t actually a last-ditch effort to salvage a failing team… it was a calculated plan to lay off those team members as non-performers and to return the business to the 1980’s style pressure sales techniques preferred by the Head of Sales. I knew before I took the role that these talented people struggled to connect, but I believed that I could solve their problem – and I proved my point.

Recognising Bad Vibes - Learn How to Use Humour, Assertiveness and Empathy to Direct Difficult Conversations

You can’t always predict when a conversation that should have been straightforward will become unexpectedly tense and difficult – and even when you know a conversation will be challenging you can’t accurately discern all the twists it may take in advance. That’s why you need to develop your ability to read the body language, energetic field, and tone changes of your companions as well as their words.

If you are following a script – or AI prompts, – you may avoid the awkward silence that comes when your offer is rejected or deflected and you don’t know what to say next, but you will also lose the opportunity to discover what is really happening in your prospect’s life. Not only will that leave people feeling neutral or negative towards you, but it also eliminates the ability to scope out opportunities and initiate future conversations. There is no denying that AI is powerful and that it has many valid applications – BUT the best way to future-proof your life and career is to focus on creativity, emotion, and the skills that make humans human.

The Power of Attention in a Distracted World - Whether You are Selling Ideas, Leadership, or Products & Services Human Response Can Save the Day

The day may come when machines take over the earth and nothing human has any further value, but that is still a long way off. For the foreseeable future, there is no substitute for skilled human connection. The problem is that the fascination and safety of our electronic devices and communications has done a great deal of damage to our ability to read and respond to other people. While the sales and communication skills we teach at Life Puzzle are based on Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), we are not merely teaching a system or a set of scripts. We equip our clients with the ability to amplify their human skills and to accurately observe and respond to prospects in ways that build trust, liking, and confidence based on authentic communication.

If you’d like to learn more about amplifying your human superpowers and becoming an expert in active listening skills, join our email list and get semi-weekly emails with communication skills as well as regular updates on upcoming courses and events so you can become a communication superhero.

*Remember to check out Part 1 of this series HERE: Unleash Your Communication Superhero and Boost Your Sales Naturally

People Holds In Hand A Jigsaw Puzzle. Business Solutions, Succes

“There is enough pain and difficulty in most people’s lives. When you offer them a pleasurable escape and then deliver what you promised you will have a customer for life… The second part of that statement is what builds your reputation and relationship.”
~ Chandell Labbozzetta

Are you ready to take your business and relationships to new heights?

If so, then you need to hone your communication and relationship-building skills so that you can have more effective conversations and make lasting connections. STOP making excuses about your ability to communicate, be memorable, and make sales. Everyone can learn these powerful communication skills that will not only make you more influential but will also enrich every area of your life.

WARNING: Don’t Promise What You Can’t Deliver!

Sales and salespeople have a lousy reputation.
What negative images and impressions do you have around sales?
What adjectives do you mentally associate with sales?

Common examples include: used car sales people, real estate agents, MLM recruiters. Common adjectives include: sleazy, pushy, lying, deceptive…

As a sales trainer and the founder of Life Puzzle, a sales and personal development company, I often hear these negative stereotypes offered as reasons why people don’t want to participate in sales training. “I want to be authentic and genuine,” people will say – or… “I don’t want to force people into a decision.”

I agree wholeheartedly.

IF… you don’t believe that your product or service can:

  • Deliver what you promise,
  • Solve the problem that is keeping your prospect in pain, and
  • Offer a valuable return on their investment,

THEN… Find something that does. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver. Ever!

So… Now that I’ve delivered that warning, let’s talk about the key to effective sales and persuasion (which is the bigger context of sales) => Communication Skills

Discover Your Superpower - Identify Your Communication Strengths and Weaknesses

Good teachers start with an inventory of their students’ individual strengths and weaknesses even if they’re teaching a class. It doesn’t matter what skill you are talking about, this is a fundamental tool for helping your students make observable progress and it applies to communication skills as much as to anything else.

One of the things I look for in any trainers that I add to my team is an ongoing learning habit because that makes them better teachers. You see, habitual learners find creative ways to identify their own strengths and weaknesses and that enables them to identify them in others and give specific targeted feedback and analysis. This is especially important in communication because – for most people – their problem isn’t “communication” as a whole, it is specific parts of the communication process that they find challenging – for some it’s attention or focus; for others it might be body language or eye-contact skills; for others, it’s the words they choose.

Once you understand your own specific strengths and weaknesses in communication, you can take steps to enhance your strengths and overcome your weaknesses – and for most people that takes personal attention which is why people struggle to progress when they just buy a book or a course that doesn’t provide personalised feedback.

Put on Your Cape and Mask - Become an Expert in Body Language and Active Listening Skills

Just 7% of communication consists of the words used. The rest of your communication is non-verbal. That doesn’t make your choice of words UNimportant – but it doesn’t mean that you have more to work on than just your words if you want to enhance your communication skills.

I remember one student who couldn’t work out why people felt uncomfortable talking to him. Within minutes we identified the problem: he was making too much eye-contact and invariably people he talked to would break off the conversation as quickly as possible because it looked like he was trying to stare them out or hypnotise them. He had heard about making eye-contact and over-developed the habit. He didn’t break it at once, especially if he was interested and engaged in conversation, but as he became better at reading body language and active listening he was more attuned to his conversation partner and learned to read the signals.

Today, he uses eye contact appropriately to communicate focused attention, but he’s quick to perceive if others are feeling threatened and to adjust his technique appropriately.

Fundamentals of Communication SuperPowers

In Part 2, we’ll look at the communication strategies required to tackle difficult conversations, handle conflict, manage collaboration, and build strong durable relationships with colleagues and customers, but it all starts with a growing understanding of your communication strengths and weaknesses and your ability to read other people’s responses.

If sales is the #1 life skill, then confident and congruent communication is the heart of any successful sale – especially if it’s complex and your prospects might be confused about their options and alternatives.

One of the most frequent comments we get at Life Puzzle when we speak or conduct trainings is from people who think they are sales-allergic. We’ll hear things like, “I have never attended a course that had so many applications to my life outside work.” Especially during multi-day trainings we’ll hear accounts of the wonderful conversation they had with their spouse and how they resolved a long-standing dilemma (as well as the surprise sale they closed)… But my favourite story was the woman who arrived for Day 2 of her workplace training absolutely beaming: after five years of marriage, she had used her newfound skills to totally disarm her mother-in-law and get her to cook a delicious dinner rather than complaining about her daughter-in-law’s food.

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