Flash Newsletter
September 2015

Paul McMurray
"Influence and Communication:  Skills to Make us More Effective Leaders"
We often recognize "Leadership" in an individual or organization by the way we render swift decisions and articulate them firmly and clearly to those we hope will follow.  At FAR's luncheon program on September 15 Paul McMurray presented a model for communicating more effectively in a way that, in the end, generates greater influence over the outcome of a discussion by taking more time to listen and exercising greater awareness of the ways in which different personal experiences affect how we face new issues.  

Using videos and an interactive exercise, Paul led us through several situations and experiences that got everyone talking and helped alert us to how our own experiences color our understanding of what's really going on in a given situation.  Before wrapping up, Paul gave us a model of "what to do" and "how to do it" using the acronym STATE to cue your communication.  The first three letters represent what we are to do:  S= share your facts;  T=tell your story; A=ask to open the dialogue.  The goal of these actions are to maximize candor and limit defensiveness on the part of others.  The final two letters cue us on the "how" of our leadership: T=talk tentatively; E=encourage testing.

Maintaining a circle of safety is crucial for everyone to share effectively and this, too, is our job.  By suspending judgment on other's facts and stories and by eliminating consequences (good or bad) for opening up, we increase the amount of honest, relevant information shared in the pool of knowledge before making a decision.  In so doing we have exercised measureable influence in the outcome of the discussion.  This, too, is the mark of leadership.

FAR members, stay tuned to the FAR website where Mr. McMurray's presentation will be posted once received.