Echo 11 :: Kem Meyer – Less Control, More Influence

Kem Meyer is a recovering corporate spin doctor and outspoken advocate for applying simple insights to the not-so-simple art of communication. She speaks, writes and leads teams to deliver a clutter free and unified experience across departments and campuses. Her book, Less Clutter. Less Noise. helps churches, businesses and not-for-profits find ways to get the word out and, simply, do better.

  • The art is secondary. It fuels an objective. It is used to get someone from A to B.
  • What I need in the daily grind, I need a simple framework to go back to so I can still get stuff done, and try it again.
  • Fear, committees, raising the bar, preference, false buy-in, follow-through
  • Do you ever catch yourself getting frustrated when people just don’t get it?
  • God has built in our own personal smoke alarm if we just pay attention to it.
  • underbelly – a vulnerable area; a corrupt or sordid part
  • whenever I feel discouraged or angry or anything else it means I need to recalibrate.
  • I can’t lead change with all this static in my life.
  • All of us are under pressure to get things done. Tight timelines. This sometimes disables our smoke alarm.
  • We’re the last to know how we’re coming across. Back down, and take a chill pill. We are all exponentially more effective when we learn from people who think and see differently than we do.
  • It’s not our job to send the right message, it is our job to release the right response.
  • Control
    • too little time
      • Make space
      • Evaluate your insecurity – this could be email.
      • You don’t have time to do the things you want to get done, or maybe you’re working on the wrong things.
      • Make space for conversation
      • Which co-worker is your favorite? – the one who gets on your nerves the most.
      • Listening can be a disturbing experience – requires a level of self-awareness, and self-criticism
        • This is more of an attitude than it is a skill – adopt an attitude of wander, and curiosity.
        • It doesn’t come from technique, but it comes from being genuinely interested in what is going on with the other person.
      • This is a trip, not a destination.
      • If we’re always focused on the outcome, we will constantly feel the frustration instead of the win. If we focus on the people over the project then relationships will gradually strengthen and each step will feel like a win along the way.
      • It is less about technique and more about attitude.
    • too many answers
      • Man to man
      • We get territorial because we are responsible for something. We get over-protective over our areas.
      • Take time to learn about your audience. How you’re trying to win people over is not effective.
      • I am really less concerned with defining the process, and more concerned with defining the people involved in the process.
      • Framework. Conversation tools. Guidelines.
      • We can only get back to man to man defense is by understanding other people’s world-views.
      • Adopt the attitude of curiosity.
      • The more we communicate, the less we communicate.
      • When all lines of communication are open for participants to talk to the whole group, the lines of communication are less effective.
      • Don’t try to get consensus, but try to get traction.
      • We get jacked up trying to get everyone equal.
      • We should be looking for cohesiveness, not consistency. We all don’t need to tell the whole story, we just need to tell the same story.
      • If you want to maximize response, minimize the options.
      • Have you ever noticed how we judge ourselves by intentions and others by their actions?
    • too much self-importance
      • Do the JFK
      • When we are accidentally putting too much importance on ourselves, we need to ask ourselves what I can do for the other person as opposed to what they can do for me.
      • Think less about what we have to say, and think more about how it is going to impact others.
      • Never take something away without giving something back.
      • Volunteer proofing team.
      • What are people going to feel because of what you do?
      • The secret to changing others starts with changing ourselves. – Do the JFK
      • Proverbs 19:27 If you stopped learning, you will forget what you already know.

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