Grow the production arena with information gained by asking questions like WHAT? HOW?
One could shrink ones production arena with "attack" statements / questions like WHO and WHY?
Learn how to constructively "small talk".
Thank you to Ken Smith for the above insights!
Open or re-start a conversation using the Carnegie model (see the book by Dale Carnegie; Winning friends and Influencing people for more resources).
There is basic "stuff" any person on earth feel comfortable talking about. This includes subjects like family, hobbies, travel, interest, art, music and many more such subjects. When a conversation comes to a place where the other person or people are low on energy, in other words they are struggling to communicate with you, use the Carnegie method to re-start the conversation. This process can also be used to start a conversation.
Following is a short summary of the method developed by Dale Carnegie:
In your mind walk down the street in which the person you are conversing with lives, see the brass plate next to the front door:
This leads into questions about where does the individual live or where did they live.
Now walk into the house in your mind's eye:
Talk about and ask about what you see on the walls, like photographs, pictures, paintings, ornaments and such things.
On top of the house, there is an aero plane:
Where has this person traveled to or where do they wish to travel.
On top of the aero plane is a hobbyhorse:
What type of hobbies do they practice and what other interests do they have.
On top of the plane, on top of the hobbyhorse sits grandma knitting:
Where does his/her family come from and what are they engaged in.
Build report by body language and using activator statements.
Reflect and mirror the other person’s statements to ensure you understand what is being said or asked. For example if someone makes a statement like:”You must remember to complete the letter.” You would then mirror that statement ensuring you understood the other person:”You would like me to complete the letter to John as we discussed previously, would you like me to mail it as well or do you want to read it first?.” This ensures there are no misunderstandings and possible challenging situations.
Allow the other person to complete what they want to say. Build rapport by using statements like, "Tell me more", "Wow really!?", "Is it really like that?", "They do that?" etc.
Religious statements are taboo. When treading in the realm of personal belief, leave the other person to talk, you just listen without reacting. Be aware of making controversial statements or attacking the others' statements. Use these methods to get the most out of a meeting; do not allow emotional reactions to sabotage the purpose of the meeting.
Edward de Bono's PO works in the same manner. One asks the question: "What is PO?" PO is nothing; it can thus be anything one wants it to be. It belongs to nobody and means nothing so PO can be anything you want it to be; again without having to defend it.
A Venn diagram gives a graphic representation of the different stakeholders involved in the possible project. There where the overlap between the areas exists is where you can test the possibility of further engagement and value-add.