Conscious Communication with Mary Shores
What is Conscious Communication all about?
The words we use dictates the path we take in our lives. Mary hails from a flat, green, farm populated area of Champagne, Illinois, USA.
Conscious communication. In 2005, Mary attended the Unleash The Power Within, the Tony Robbins seminar. The event blew her then 30 year old mind. Especially some of the simple timeless lessons Robbins tells:
- What you focus on grows
- Always know your outcome.
Mary had always been a positive mindset person. But, she had a number of challenges in her life to overcome. Her transformational communication method was borne in the days after the Tony Robbins seminar.
One day, Mary was looking at her phone whilst in her office. She had a small mom and pop business. In debt collection. And in that field there are a lot of FIERCE communications.
All humans across the globe share a set of common human fears. The number one human fear is the fear of poverty. Loss of finances will trigger people more than anything else, including disease.
Her business was having all these high intense and stressful conversations – and it was exhausting Mary, her staff and it was tense all day long.
So, on that day, Mary looked at her phone, (Mary recalls it vividly as it was THE moment that changed her life), and Mary said
“I want the next person who calls to be happier at the end of the phone call than they were at the beginning”
A New Goal
Mary went to her staff and stated OUR GOAL is no longer to collect money. The only objective was to try to make the person happy. Mary had tried all kinds of collection techniques, but was failing. The reason these conversations are so triggering for people, is because of all the shame and unworthiness that goes along with having a debt. It’s a sign of failure.
So, Mary started to pay attention to the point in the call when it started to go down. It quickly became apparent that when people heard certain WORDS they would freak out on them!
They would come out fighting at this point. Then, Mary’s agents would be triggered. So, Mary needed rules and strategies to organise this communication.
Conscious Communication – the Book
Do Not Say List
THIS VIDEO IS GOLDEN for Customer Services
Mary describes the logic behind conscious communication. Firstly, you have to validate the person you are talking with.
Can you create a STOP SAYING LIST and a START SAYING LIST?
The NEED to be heard and understood
This is a basic human need. We are unable to emotionally move on in a conversation until we have checked the box in our brain that says “I’ve been heard”.
AT that moment we can move on to be present for the solution. Validate that THEIR perception of reality is important. This is what builds connection.
Get out of the advice mode.
You are planting a tiny seed. You need people to be emotionally receptive to what you are saying. So, validate their experience. I see this is troubling for you. That builds a connection. It slows them down. Finally, someone heard me.
Next step is seed the happy word. Fortunately / You’ll be happy to know that… All this reframes the conversation.
The ticket still needs to be paid, but you have made them feel better. So they accept it more readily.
What does all this require?
You’ve got to do things in a different way. We don’t get SOFT SKILLS training, do we?
Mary has organised all this in a series of steps.
This is a communication process that is transformational as it builds a deep connection.
It feels strange when you start doing this
In the Next 100 Days, what would Mary suggest we do?
Start to notice – pay attention to the negative words. Challenge yourself to eliminate the word ‘unfortunately’. Or whatever it is you choose or regrettably, or however. Experiment in the next 100 days. Ideas will come to you. Your mind will help you.
Not just verbally but in writing too.
In the first year alone, Mary’s revenues grew 34% as a result of eliminating negative words.
Note to self: salary, business growth.
Focus on What You Can Do, Not What you Cannot Do?
No-one ever wants to hear about a POLICY.
Tell people what you can do. The customer does not always have the same language. Instead of saying no, the good news is I know exactly what you need to do need next.
Understand the Human Scale of Emotions
We’re not happy all the time. That leads to sickness. And bouts of freaking out at random moments.
- Let people to have the emotions (we have 5 basic human fears)
- Remove the negative words
- Plant seed of happiness – a tiny bridge between the validation and the action step. You’ll be happy to know, I’m more than glad to help you with this.
- Action statement – tell them what you can do not what you cannot do.
Who was the guest Graham forgot? – Author of The Coaching Habit Michael Bungay Stanier
Watch out for Mary Shores on TED Talk. How is she is transforming America’s collection industry. Mary spoke with such passion about the psychological impact that debt has on people.
Mary works on brand promise and develops customer services departments.
Find out more
Buy Mary’s book Conscious Communications
LinkedIn – connect
Mary really wants people to know, she came from nothing. She had a daughter that passed. Was on welfare. She is now building an empire. She understands debt and transformational communications.