Mastering interpersonal communication soft skills is the one that will make your job seem easy and very enjoyable. Some of us are more natural ‘rapport builders’ than others but the good news is that we can all do a great job of it! As a business analyst you will communicate with a lot of stakeholders during your career and this often involves getting their ‘buy in’ into what you and your project team are trying to achieve. So lets look at a few ways you can ensure you get the stakeholder’s buy in.
Technique: The three times affirmation.
This interpersonal communication technique is a very easy rapport building technique when you want to optimise the interpersonal communication and works a treat. What this one is all about is simply you asking three consecutive questions which the stakeholderanswer’s ‘yes’ to. You do this during your first few minutes of being with the stakeholder because it is all about you setting up a warm engagement session with them.
How to do this in real life situations?
OK, lets say you are about to do a stakeholder requirements interview. You can this when you walk in the door (and some of it you do already anyway!). You ask the person whether they are comfortable where they are sitting. You then ask them whether they are ready for the interview session to start and finally you ask them whether it would be OK for you to ask him/her some questions about their work practices. In all three these cases the stakeholder would have answered ‘yes’ and you would have a great start for great rapport! You will now see you can ask other types of questions too, the bottom line being that you ask three different questions consecutively where the answer is yes / good / well thanks every time.
- You are able to use this technique with an individual or with a group. This means it will work really well in a requirements workshop set up too.
- You can use this technique quite seamlessly when you are on a conference call too.
- You don’t need to see the person to build rapport.
- You can use this technique in everyday conversation with anyone of yourstakeholders.
- Finally it is a fantastic tool to use when you know a stakeholder may be more resistant to discuss certain things.
By building rapport this way, you get them to agree with you essentially three times before delving into the real topic for discussion. This will make them much more likely to agree / accept your suggestions or requirements questions in a positive sense.
Next step – go try this!
This is just one of many great rapport building tips you can teach yourself in minutes toimprove your results with interpersonal communication.