In a recent Leadership Presence for Women program, we were discussing the Decker Grid™ when a participant raised her hand.
“Can I use this on my husband?” she asked.
This question comes up a lot, and the answer is a resounding yes! While Decker’s main objective is to teach communication skills that help you dominate in the boardroom, the same tools can be applied when you’re conversing in your living room, kitchen—wherever!
Whether you’re trying to convince your partner to keep a tighter budget, inspiring your children to get more involved with community service, or suggesting a book to a friend, your goal is to influence, not just inform. To achieve this, it’s critical that you emotionally connect with your audience and craft a message that will speak to what’s important to them.
Emotional connection rests on your ability to demonstrate behaviors of trust. A warm smile, engaging eye communication, and strong vocal conviction go a long way. They show you care deeply about the other person and that you have their best interest at heart—something especially important when you find yourself disagreeing with your loved one.
The content of your message also plays a big role in how influential you are with your friends and family. Just as you would prepare the Decker Grid™ in a business setting, consider how this tool might lead to inspiration in your personal life.
No, we’re not suggesting you whip out a physical grid during your next Sunday dinner! Instead, think through the elements of the Grid (or at least the cornerstones) when crafting your message.
To illustrate this, take a recent situation I found myself in—trying to convince my husband that we should take a staycation instead of going away for the upcoming school break:
- Listener (the Who): My dear husband, a native New Yorker who values quality time with family and doesn’t mind saving a buck or two.
- Point of View (the So What): We can have a trip of a lifetime without leaving this island!
- Action Steps (the How): Consider planning a staycation with me. This weekend, let’s brainstorm three landmarks and three restaurants we’ve always wanted to go to in NYC.
- Benefits (the Why): We’ll gain a new perspective on our hometown while saving some money.
Thinking through the Cornerstones only took three minutes and allowed me to deliver a listener-focused message that worked! (Broadway, here we come!)
But perhaps the most compelling part of my message was my use of a SHARP. SHARPs add an emotional element to your point of view, which is critical because logic makes you think, and emotion makes you act. I chose a story of our family enjoying an “only-in-New-York” moment during a staycation a few years ago. This special memory brought back feelings of a magical night we will never forget. How could my husband say no to recreating it?
Now, you might be thinking, “Wow, sounds like Jedi Mind Tricks!” Not exactly. It’s about being influential through both behaviors and content. It’s not that different from what we all strive to do at work. So the next time you have a strong point to make to your parent, child, partner, or friend, borrow a lesson or two from the boardroom. You’ll be pleased with how well it fits in virtually any room in your home.