Imagine you had access to a set of communication tools that you could deploy at any time. This tool kit would increase collaboration and improve the odds of positive outcomes for you and those around you. Furthermore, imagine the instructions were clear and tools simple and easy to use. Would you use them? I believe you would. You now have access to this tool kit, it is called TASK™.
You should know that I am obsessed with helping people improve communication performance and achieve positive outcomes. It is from this place that TASK was born.
Over thirty years of working in a variety of clinical settings, and as a business owner, I have observed the following: if you authentically communicate your thoughts and feelings in a clear, simple and compelling manner while using the tools of TASK, you will achieve greater positive outcomes. As our society migrates from manufacturing industry to service provision, communication becomes the new hot commodity. In this book you will find the tools to help you achieve the positive outcomes that you seek.
We are like machines, both in mind and body. Our thoughts and emotions are the engines that drive our actions, decisions, motivations and course corrections that we make so frequently, thousands of times per day. If you manage and cultivate your thoughts and emotions as an athlete manages physical training and competition preparation, then you will communicate at an elevated performance level as well. You too can become a communication champion.
TASK is a tool kit designed to help you unlock and unleash productive communication and positive outcomes. The idea to write this book came from repeated requests of my consulting clients to give them written information about the work we were doing. They consistently reported to me the magic of TASK.
“Hey Tom, TASK has changed my life.” “I used TASK today…it even works at home in my personal life!”
Here are the tools in short form:
Treat people with dignity and respect…at all times. Consistency is crucial.
Assume positive intent. People are driven to say/do things that they believe are well intended.
Strengths and solutions, people have them, facilitate the expression of them.
Keep people empowered. Actively seek out ways to empower those around us.
Simply by keeping in mind the 4 principles of TASK, you will begin to understand the essence of communication and thereby become more effective with how you communicate. Effective communication is successfully transmitting information that is received by others as you intend it to be received. By communicating effectively, you will achieve greater overall performance and positive outcomes. Most people tend to think about productive communication as a dynamic expression of what they think and/or feel. So in other words, if I do a great job talking then others should listen, follow or agree. However, one of the most dynamic things we can do as effective communicators is to listen, hear and understand.
With TASK, you can enter and navigate any relationship with improved outcomes and success. When you get a job, you don’t get to pick your colleagues or bosses, but you can be consistent in your execution of TASK which will prevent potential power struggles and create alignment when interacting with others.
Using the tools you can practice to develop greater aptitude and confidence communicating with your colleagues, employees, teams, supervisors, investors and more. Use the tools; practice makes permanent.
TASK is an acronym. Each letter represents one of the four TASK tools. These tools are the foundations of your productive communication. Using the tools as a schematic for your communication will also enhance your ability to understand people’s motivation and intent (why they do what they do and say what they say). Understanding this gives you greater opportunities for creating alignment.
In modern life, our modes of communication are rapidly expanding. A generation ago we had a few to choose from; letters, phone, face to face. Today we have all those plus email, texting, snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and others that are being developed and launched as you read this. What has not changed is that we have a need to connect with each other as human beings. So while the modes of communication evolve, we should ask ourselves, are our abilities to use them effectively evolving as well? Helping you with this evolution is my purpose and motivation for writing this.
There are strategies for interacting with those around you to achieve excellence and positive outcomes. Ultimately the engine of future success is your brain. More specifically, what you are thinking and how you manage and cultivate your thoughts will influence what you do, what you say and your access to positive outcomes.
At meetings and discussions I often ask, “what problem are you trying to solve?” This is more than just an exercise. It is a call to action to engage with our powerful innate human goal oriented drives. We are hungry…we hunt (or shop); we are tired…we sleep, etc. We are inherently wired to try to solve problems and resolve conflict. The tools in this book are closely aligned with these powerful hard wired human experiences. Practicing and investing in yourself to become an expert communicator will result in achieving goals and positive outcomes. For example, in sales, when you help solve your customer’s problems you build relationships and increase the probability of a sales transaction. Consider how often positive sales experiences are really just the outcome of relationship building exercises.
TASK is designed to impact “how you do what you do” and “how you say what you say.” What you are THINKING significantly impacts what you are doing and saying. So, managing and harnessing your thought process will have a significant positive impact on your communication with people and therefore your performance. Regardless of your industry, you are working and interacting with people. People are everywhere, so lets get awesome about how we communicate with them.
I will close with a call to action. Look at the set of TASK tools and pick one and focus for a day on trying to master that skill. The next day, pick another skill and try to master that one without regressing on the previous skill. Keep going until you find yourself practicing all four skills with proficiency and consistency. Then ask yourself, “Am I getting better outcomes with my communication?”
Stay tuned for TASK, a book of four easy to use tools to create positive communication and create positive outcomes, releasing later this year. Foreword by Carl Paoli.
Contributor: Thomas Reid, LCSW