Best Practices in HR

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Stacey Hanke
  July 9, 2018

4 Steps for Adapting Your Message on the Fly

  1. Be present.  Being present means being completely focused on your audience and fully in tune with what is happening between you in the moment.
  • Do you need to adjust your energy level based on the energy in the room and your listeners’ communication style?
  • Are you talking nonstop, or are you pausing to give your listeners a chance to hear and understand your message?
  • Are you typing an email to one client while you’re having a conversation with someone else?


  1. Pay attention.Pay close attention to the verbal and nonverbal signals your listeners are sending that indicate you need to adapt your message or delivery.
  • Are they interacting with you or their technical gadgets?
  • Do they need additional information, or do they have a blank stare that indicates you’ve given them too much?
  • Do they truly understand what you are telling them, or are they shaking their heads “yes” in the hopes you will wrap it up soon?


  1. Interact to understand. Check in with your listeners and seek feedback by asking open-ended questions that will guide you to know what adjustments you need to make for them.
  • “What are your thoughts on …?”
  • “What has been your experience with …?”
  • “What was your takeaway from our conversation?”
  1. Focus outward rather than inward. Too often our focus is on ourselves and what we want to communicate rather than on our listeners and readers and what they need. Your listeners can tell it’s all about you and what you want to accomplish. Take the focus off yourself, and put your energy into how you can help your listener solve a problem or make a change.

Influential leaders never focus on what they can get. They focus on what they can give. Make it easy for your listeners to want to listen to you. Put all of your focus on them, what is important to them and what is the best solution for them.

 Drop me a note to share how you used the above four steps this week to adapt your message on the fly. Tag me on my Facebook page.

If you missed one of Stacey’s previous blogs or tips, visit her online.


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