This week we’re thinking about white space and how important it is in conversation. Granted this is a concept usually used to talk about glossy magazine ads for luxury products, rather than communication, but hear me out. As we’ve been updating our proposal materials we’ve been aware of the power of white space and the impact it has on the reader. It makes the elements on the page seem more valuable, more special, more desirable. It’s why the ladies like these little blue boxes:
Well, it works the same way in conversation. Creating white space in business conversations means the things we dosay seem more valuable, because they are. We’ve thought about them more. We’ve listened not just to respond but to understand. And talking less creates a sense of restraint which people link to gravitas.
If you’d like to create more white space in your conversations, try this:
- Perfect the pause – pauses are good for speakers and listeners. Speakers can think about their next point for a moment, while listeners consider what they’ve heard and make connections to their own experience and point-of-view. Just make sure it’s an intentional strong pause, like the ones demonstrated here by Barack Obama, rather than a weak pause which is an accident cause by mind clutter. No one uses a strong pause to interrupt, they’re too busy thinking and anticipating.
- Ask a question which provokes thought and insight – We are under time pressure. We want to be perceived as knowledgeable. We want to add value. As a result we often fall into the trap of talking at people, making statements and sharing everything we know and think on the issue. Audit your communication: how much of what you say is statements versus questions? Practise shifting gears with a good quality question to get them thinking more deeply about the issue at hand.
…watch one thing, make it this astute and very funny video about the ridiculous things that happen on conference calls. If you like that one click here for the email version.
That’s all for now.
Thanks for reading Vibe-clan (and thanks in advance for sharing ;))
PS Hello and welcome to all our new readers!