Summary: Communicating to get the results you want
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How to Communicate to Get the Results You Want

We all know the feeling of being overlooked or misunderstood. You may have the greatest idea in the world, but what use is it if nobody takes you seriously? You may be the new boss, but how effective are you going to be if your team members ignore what you have to say?

If you are tired of feeling like nobody is listening, and want to be able to communicate your ideas and expectations in a way that will actually get results, then this blog is for you.

Why Effective Communication Is Important

Do you know that feeling when what you say seems to fall on deaf ears? Do you know the frustration that comes with not being seen or heard? Are you familiar with the sense of despondency that comes with feeling sidelined or ignored when it comes to important matters?

Although still often considered a “soft” skill, communicating effectively is one of the most important competencies you can learn in life. It’s a key part of almost all human interactions, and it’s something that can make or break your relationships in both your personal and professional interactions.

Being able to communicate your ideas and expectations clearly and concisely will not only earn you more credibility and respect, it also helps to eliminate misunderstandings, builds trust and rapport, and fosters teamwork and collaboration.

Defining your needs and expectations

In order to ensure that your needs and expectations are taken seriously, it is important that you first know what you actually want to say and what outcome you want to achieve from the conversation. This can be difficult to do in the moment, when adrenaline is running high, especially if you are in a crucial conversation like a job interview or a sales negotiation or a feedback session with a member of your team.

However, here are a few steps you can take to handle any conversation with greater clarity and courage.


Before your meeting, take some time to think about your goals. Are these goals aligned with what you really need? Will this meeting help you achieve your goals? What would be your ideal outcome, and what is your alternative strategy? Make notes and edit them until your goals are crystal clear. The time you spend preparing will enable you to approach the conversation with the courage and confidence that will deliver the results you seek.


Asking for what you want can feel daunting, awkward or even embarrassing, so practice is key. Rehearsing with a friend or in front of the mirror will help you nail down your ideas so that you are composed and remember what you want to say when the time comes. Once you have internalized your message by repeating it to yourself several times, you will find it much easier to communicate your thoughts in an easy and natural way.

Proof Points

Nobody can read your mind, so unless you can give a compelling case, no one else will really know or care about what you want. It is important to provide examples, comparisons or other details to explain why what you are asking for is important, relevant and reasonable. This can help others to understand your through process and see things from your perspective.


Building rapport is one way to improve the quality of the working relationship, so being perceptive to unspoken challenges is key. If you only focus on yourself, you may miss important cues: is the other person still listening? Are you on common ground, or are there any signs that the conversation is breaking down? What can you do to keep your conversation partner interested and engaged? Don’t forget to read the room, and be open to taking in new perspectives.

Setting yourself up for success

With all the effort that goes into preparing to make an important request, don’t forget that context and self-management are also key. Whether there is an issue that you want to address or something that you need from the other person, being intentional about maintaining a good working relationship will lead to a more productive discussion. Here are some dos and don’t you can keep in mind:

  • Choose a time when both you and the other party are calm and able to give your undivided attention.
  • Avoid words that may come across as attacking, judging or placing blame. Instead, focus on what you have observed, how you feel and what you need.
  • Listen to what the other person has to say without interrupting or interrogating.
  • Be open to learning something new by seeing things from the other person’s perspective.
  • Be willing to compromise in a way that enables both sides to feel they have made gains.

Playing the long game

In conclusion, getting what you want starts with knowing what you want. This is true whether you’re trying to get budget approval for a new project or giving feedback to a difficult team member. While being clear about your desired outcome is just the starting point, you also need to plan what you are going to say, how you are going to present your thoughts, and also which context is most likely to ensure the results you want.

Learning this skill is hard work; a marathon, not a sprint. It takes intentional practice and commitment, but the rewards will serve you not only today, but again and again, throughout the course of your career.

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