Be A STAR Communicator

Be a STAR Communicator

by Gerald George Mannikarote, MBBS MBA

Several years ago, I was introduced to something that was intended to help a person with job interviews.  It is called the STAR technique.  I later learned that it can applied as a communication tool in many ways.

In case you aren’t familiar with it, STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. I was told that this is a good way to explain how you approached a project discussion during an interview. But I quickly learned that this same technique is a great way to communicate your ideas to others.

STAR communicator
Be a STAR communicator

Let’s break it down…

Situation

When you have an idea, sale, or a project that you want to relay to another person, it’s not enough to impose your thoughts on them and expect something.  By using the STAR technique, you lay the foundation by explaining the situation at hand.  Whether it’s your idea, a sale’s pitch, or a project you are leading, by explaining the situation that needs to be addressed, you much likelier to be understood.

Task

Once you have laid the foundation by communicating the situation, you can now discuss what needs to be done, i.e. the tasks at hand.  This will help communicate what roles and jobs may need to be developed.  By discussing the tasks, it will be easier to communicate what actions and results are expected.  For example, if it is a sale, this helps explain who would benefit from the product or service.  If it is a project you are leading, this will help communicate the various roles that need to be filled.

Action

This communication piece will help you describe the duties needed to be completed in order to be successful.  In a sales situation, this could be the fact that the customer needs to sign on the dotted line.  In a project situation, this would be the actions each member would be taking on in their prescribed roles. If you are pitching an idea to a group, this will tell them what actions need to be completed in respect to the tasks at hand.

Result

This is the bit of communication that people look forward to.  If you are selling something, they want to know what’ in it for them if they made a purchase.  If you are leading a project, then what is the end goal?  If you are pitching an idea, then it simply makes sense to explain the end goal of the project.

I hope you found this twist on STAR intriguing, and even helpful. Have you used the STAR technique before?  What are some ways you have used it?  Please leave your thoughts in the comments.  You can also contact me at jerrydmann@dmanntraining.com . If you’ve liked what you’ve read, please share it with others.  Now go other there and be a STAR!

 

 

The Sweetest Sound in Business

The Sweetest Sound in Business

By Gerald George Mannikarote, MBBS MBA
The Sweetest Sound in Business
The Sweetest Sound in Business

What is the sweetest sound in business?  Many people feel that it is the clink of cold hard cash in a money box.  I would beg to disagree.

When I began my training as a physician, I was taught that the sweetest sound to any human being’s ears is the sound of their name.  I learned the importance of treating a patient as an individual and not as a ‘case’.  I learned to ask for the patient’s name, not just for the sake of identification, but more for the reason of providing a personal touch to someone that is seeking my help.  I sadly did not think of transferring this valuable lesson to other aspects of my life until many years later.

One of my mentors reminded me of this when I did a ride along early on in my sales career.  I remember walking into a hospital with him and going a nurse’s station and approaching the nurse that was there.  My mentor immediately asked the nurse a question.  However, with great finesse, he prefixed the question with the nurse’s name.

The nurse smiled and gave my mentor the answer we needed and we went on our way.  I asked him how he knew the nurse.  He told me he had never met her before.  I then asked him how he knew her name.  His answer made me remember my training as a physician.

He said, “She had a name tag on.”  “Why wouldn’t you use her name if you can see her name tag?”  I immediately remembered ‘The Sweetest Sound’.

The Sweetest Sound
The Sweetest Sound

We often use, Ms, Mr, Sir, Ma’am as signs of respect.  But often, this appears impersonal.  The use of a person’s name brings your conversation to another level.

Another mentor of mine showed me this in action in another scenario.  This time we were the customers.  We sat down for a lunch meeting and he asked the server to repeat his name.  The server looked surprised.  My mentor then explained to him, “I’d rather call you by your name than call you ‘Hey’ or ‘Excuse me’.”  This helped me better understand the impact of ‘The Sweetest Sound’.

Now I make a strong attempt in using people’s names when interacting with them.  I often get told that I am great with names.  But that is truly not the case.  The truth is I make a strong attempt in learning and using a person’s name.  I make a strong attempt at creating ‘The Sweetest Sound’ in business.

What is ‘The Sweetest Sound’ to you?  Have you used ‘The Sweetest Sound’, i.e. a person’s name, in a situation outside your immediate circle to create a more personal situation for your business?  Has it ever backfired on you? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section.  I would love to hear from you.  You can also contact me at jerrydmann@dmanntraining.com