Have you heard that a lot of stress is avoidable? How? Communicate with precision. We’ll use the W.O.W. process:
W – write notes
O – offer to repeat their words
W – work out a form
1. Write notes
Taking notes during interactions has literally saved me thousands of dollars. I note the time, date, and person I’m talking with. I send a follow-up email with my notes included. I know of a person who gained $100,000 when he said to someone on the other side of the table: “Okay. Let’s look at my notes and your notes.” The other side failed to have thorough notes.
Taking notes and writing them into a follow-up email message creates a “paper trail.” Assumptions lead to slipped deadlines and big misunderstandings that suck up time like the undertow at the beach. Protect yourself: take excellent notes and file them.
2. Offer to repeat their words
How do you know that you’ve truly understood someone’s intent? Repeat much of their words back to them. It can sound like: “So I heard you to say Part One of Project 1-2-3 is most important. Do I have that about right?”
At that point, the other person will add to or correct your interpretation. (For more about communicating powerfully, see a free chapter of my book Be Heard and Be Trusted when you CLICK HERE)
3. Work out a form
At one point, I heard someone talk about how her client returned with anger about expectations that were not met.
In response to her question, I suggested: “How about having a form to fill out at the beginning of a project?”
Here’s an example of a few questions that one writer can use as a survey form before adapting a book into a screenplay for a new client:
a) What’s the main theme of your book?
b) What is a scene that must be in the screenplay?
c) Summarize the point or theme of your book in one sentence:
(example from the film Tootsie: “A man becomes a better man by portraying a woman.”
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As you can see from the above questions, using a form can help both client and contractor identify vital elements of a project.
Using the W.O.W. process saves you time and money.
Avoid needless frustration.
Then you have more energy and less stress.
You’ll be more able to apply yourself to productive and profitable pursuits.