by Claudia Irmer
A while back I attended a training course on perfecting coaching skills for a specific target audience: executive managers. It was an illustrious circle of high-profile and skilled individuals who were there to learn from one of the leading coaches in this area.
During one of the sessions an attendee—let me call him John—shared the difficulties he has at his workplace: his boss tends to give him a task and expects him to complete it quickly, but then she interrupts him all the time. John was helpless as to how to deal with her. As we were having a break and enjoying our coffees, he turned to me: “Claudia, I’ve come to know you as an empathetic yet straightforward person. How would you handle this situation?”
Admittedly, this is a tricky situation. How do you tell your boss to back off, so you can finish the tasks she gives you? One thing was clear to me from the beginning: he needed to speak with his boss! But the point was how he would phrase it – “winging it” would not be helpful as his future career was at stake. I then remembered the scripting technique we teach in our Structured Time and Workflow Management programme.
I shared the following steps with John:
- What are the key points you want to convey to your boss? Jot them down.
- Rank them in the order of priority.
- Script your message to each of the key points in the 1st person; conform to these rules:
- Be truthful.
- Be simple, clear and articulate.
- Speak from the heart.
- You need to hear yourself say, out loud, what you have scripted.
- The more often you practice your script, the more confident and professional you will feel.
John and I did the scripting exercise and rehearsed it several times – and the next time we saw each other, he shared the successful use of his script!
Claudia Irmer is a Results Consultant for Cohen Brown Management. Within the European Team, Claudia covers the territory of UK, continental Europe, and the Middle East.