Intelligent Communication Becomes Quick to Hear, Part 2

Welcome to the second article in my introductory series on being Quick to Hear in our communication. If you missed the first article, you can find it here.  Before we move on, let me ask you a question, “Did you take some time to think about being more deliberate in your communication?”  This was the practical exercise from the first article. If you are serious about improving your communication, I strongly recommend that you take the practical exercises seriously.

A Little More History

I want to cover a little more history in the development of the Quick to Hear approach, to introduce a revised version of my original model that is the basis of Quick to Hear.  After teaching the Intelligent Communication model for a few years, I realized just how effective it was in helping my students become more effective communicators. They were able to maximize the use of communication to achieve their goals and objectives. Many of my students began commenting how effective the model was in improving their personal interactions as well as their professional contacts.

I wanted to make the model available to a broader audience to use in both their personal and professional lives. I found, however, that many people did not relate to the model’s terminology developed from the intelligence field.

Intelligent Communication 2.0 — Smart Talk

I decided to modify the original model to make it easy for people without military and intelligence backgrounds to understand. This included young people, as I had the opportunity to teach the approach to a few groups of high school students. My goal was a simplified model that was even easier to apply. The result was Smart Talk (see the graphic below).

Smart Talk Model

Smart Talk had the same basic structure and flow as the original Intelligent Communication model. My goal with Smart Talk was to simplify the model using concepts that were, for the most part, self-explanatory. The three parts of Smart Talk are:

  • The Guideline (formerly the Line) – guides our communication and provides focus; beginning with the context through to achieving our goal for the interaction.
  • Think and Feel (formerly the Exploitation Cycle) – describes the internal processes we use to better understand others and determine the proper response. There are four steps to this part of the model.
  • Say and Do (formerly Collection) – consists of the deliberate actions we take, based on our understanding, to move the interaction towards our objectives and ultimately our goal.

The flow of the model is the same as the original Intelligent Communication model. For every interaction, we what to move along the Guideline from the beginning to achieving our goal. The two cogwheels (Say & Do and Think & Feel) drive the interaction along the Guideline towards our objectives and ultimate goal.

Note that the Think & Feel cogwheel is a little larger than the Say & Do cogwheel. I do this for emphasis. First of all, the processes involved in Think & Feel are those we often neglect; making our communication much less effective. Further, I have found that most communication training programs focus on Say & Do. The problem with this is that if we do not Think & Feel, we will not know what to Say & Do to move the interaction towards our goal.

Quick to Hear

As I have transitioned Intelligent Communication to Quick to Hear, I have retained, for the most part, the Smart Talk Model.  Quick to Hear will, however, bring much more fullness to the model as it brings God’s Word to bear on our communication and relationships.  So, take some time to absorb the Smart Talk model. Consider how each of the parts works together to help you move your interactions with others toward your goals. That is fundamentally the key to Smart Talk. It helps you use communication to achieve goals.

In the next article, I will provide an overview of how Quick to Hear will revise the Smart Talk model.

Practical Exercise

Since this model is much the same in the Quick to Hear approach, let’s begin applying the Smart Talk model. We will begin with a historical exercise.

Think about some occasions when you had a meeting, interview, sales call, etc. that did not go well. Take some time to replay these in your mind. Was there a breakdown in communication during these interactions? Try to identify the likely causes of the communication break down.

Now think, “If I had applied a more deliberate and effective communication style, could I have overcome the problem and achieved my goal?” The truth is, sometimes, we cannot recover from an interaction that is going badly. Many times, however, we can. Further, we can avoid these issues with a solid approach to communication, like that offered by the Smart Talk model and being “Quick to Hear.”

I look forward to beginning to share the new developments Quick to Hear provides to the Smart Talk model in the next article.

Be swift to quick and slow to speak,


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