Thursday, 24 March 2011


I love this sub heading.

I dunno - is it?
I was reading this in the Sunday Times Presentations Skills book recently and it just sprang out at me as something we all wish we could say to someone we are arguing with at least once a day - is this really necessary? Is all this aggravation really going to improve any thing?

The booklet comes up with a nice little abbreviation to remember when preparing your presentations but perhaps it might be of use to you over the course of the coming weeks who is (depressingly) convinced of the benefit of their action and cannot understand your intervention.

When in circumstances like this, I suggest your PANIC:

P - Purpose. What brought all parties to this situation in the first place? More to the point, what do you need to do and by when to move on from the stalemate you are currently in?

A - Audience. Well they are right in front of you, not listening, sounding off at what they see as tiresome HR with all their rules - I know what jokers us HR lot are. In instances like this perhaps bear in mind the opportunity you might have to build a relationship with a tricky customer and how beneficial it could be moving forward. Hard at the moment but if you are able  to illuminate the purpose driving your conversation with them this might give you move legitimacy in their eyes and suddenly it is less of an uphill battle.

N - Need. When does this need to be resolved by? Who needs to approve it? If you are not discussing it with the person who can then why not? Otherwise you are wasting energy talking to some sort of gate keeper who evidently does not see the value in what you are trying to achieve.

I - Information. If you can sense a battle coming make sure you have your information ready and at hand to justify what you want to say. No would listen to the answers Les Dennis gave on Family Fortunes if he was not able to justify them by saying 'our survey says'. Be thorough in your preparation when you can to  negate this problem.

C - Collate. Pull it together - you have motivation, a sense of purpose and the relevant third party information to back it up. Bring it together so you know what you need to present when you make  your case.

So next time you have an awkward conversation just go ahead and PANIC - I am sure you will feel a lot better when you do and those you are working with will respect you more for it. 

Well perhaps not always the second part but we can but dream. 

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