“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.”
–Anthony Robbins, bestselling author and life strategist
As business leaders, leaning into adversity and pressure is critical for driving change. During stressful situations, you’ll be tempted to allow your fear to creep in and take over.
Vikram Venugopal, Global Commercial Leader at AbbVie, knows this all too well. In fact, during Episode 4 of Think Deeply, Speak Simply—Navigating Transformation—Vikram offered numerous techniques for simplifying communication during times of challenge to successfully navigate transformation. Instead of allowing fear to take the wheel, he shared his favorite tactics for unlocking valuable insights that allow you to tailor your presentations to your audience.
Here are his two most striking recommendations for leveraging communication to navigate change.
Consider the diversity of your audience
Your audience is full of individuals with different backgrounds and experiences. This will make some people slower or more resistant to your ideas. Rather than writing these critics off, take the time to understand their objections. What are they thinking about? What are their unique concerns? What is going to inspire and motivate them?
Once you have this information, you can earn their confidence by addressing their objections throughout your presentation. This will help you talk to a broader audience and ensure that everyone has something valuable to take away.
It makes sense that you’re enthused about the transformational change occurring at your company. It’s a big deal! But sometimes this means you can become blinded by your optimism and ambition.
That’s why it’s important to step back and acknowledge the risks and opportunities with an even balance. There’s a lot of power in being honest this way. In fact, it will make people want to listen to you more. Authenticity is crucial for being a great business leader.
And remember—it’s okay if you don’t have all the answers. Instead, it can be far more beneficial to pause at someone’s question and admit, “You asked a great question, and here’s what we know at this time. I don’t have the full answer to your question right now, but I’m will figure it out and get back to you.”
This level of commitment makes your audience feel acknowledged and valued, ultimately inspiring them to come back for more.