The Five Steps to Strategically Shape Your Communication

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Have you ever had one of those conversations that you wish could be a "do-over?"


When that happens, at least for me, it's because I didn't adequately prepare for the conversation, if at all. I meant well, but it just didn't go well because I underestimated the importance of what I was going to say, how I was going to say it, and the order in which I would say it. Whenever this happens, it's an opportunity to learn from it and get better because of it.


When you are planning, problem-solving, embracing conflict, or preparing for an important presentation, the Strategic Shaping Model will help ensure that you include, or at least consider, the five "Shapes" that are essential for effective communication.


While all Shapes are important, you don't need to use all five Shapes equally, but you do need to consider the contribution and value of all five Shapes. For example, you can use the Strategic Shaping Model to think through what you want to say, how you want to say it, and in what order. Without the Strategic Shaping Model, you tend to use your Primary and Secondary Shapes in your communication style, naturally, and many times these are the only two Shapes you use. Many times, the situation may call for more than just two Shapes.


Let's say you want to give someone feedback about something that happened yesterday based on your perspective. Or perhaps someone is bringing a concern to your attention. As mentioned above, your communication style will most likely be limited to your natural Shapes (Primary and Secondary). Instead, try using the model below to Strategically Shape your conversation, thinking through the potential value of each Shape for effective planning, problem-solving, or crucial conversations. 



Here's to Strategically Shaping your communication!


NOTE: Susan Hite is the president of Hite Resources, Inc. and CEO of PsychoGeometrics. 


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