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COMMUNICATION


is a great piece of legislation and it helps back up why you should do things in a certain way with certain travel programmes,” says Day. “For me there’s more benefit in talking to someone and listening to their concerns, and seeing if you can address them,” he adds. “It gives them confidence that you’re interested in what they’re doing and how they’re working and making the system work for them. There’s a flexibility in it; it’s not a rigid way of working.”


ADAPTING – OR MIRRORING – YOUR


VOICE AND TONE TO YOUR AUDIENCE Hollywood actor John Wayne once said you should “talk low, talk slow and don’t say too much.” It’s not something that Day necessarily subscribes to – or to the concept of “mirroring” where you adopt the same tone/voice as the person you are talking to – but he does confess that he talks a little too swiftly. “I try to adjust my speech to the audience that I’m ad- dressing and pitch it at the level that they are operating, as opposed to the way I am operating,” says Day. “So, for example, if I was talking to some of the senior officers in the Church of England, obviously it would be high level and I would deliver short and sharp informa- tion; what could be referred to as ‘the helicopter view’. “However, if I was talking to IT; they’re detail people and they like knowing how a thing works, so I would probably spend time researching who I was talking to and what they did, and at what level they were in the organisation to pitch my response or my requirements to them at the right level.” Joanna Gaudoin, managing director at Inside Out Image, which trains individuals and organisations in better presentation, agrees. “People talk far too fast in general and the pace at which people speak is a problem for most people,” she says. Inside Out is all about “personal impact and helping people build great relationships”. Gaudoin believes that “mirroring” the person you’re communicating with is, to a certain extent, the best way to engage with them. “I would look at mirroring someone in body language and voice tone,” she suggests. “For example, if you’re usually a very expressive person and you’re quite high energy but you can see that you’re engaging with someone who’s not that high energy, it’s not about not being yourself but you just decrease [your expressions and tone] a bit. Otherwise you’re going to overwhelm that person. They’re not used to this style of communi- cating; it’s not how they engage. So you don’t match them exactly, but you take into consideration how they communicate. “If someone speaks in concise tones and you respond with waffle that person is going to get lost because that’s not their communication style,” she concludes. Mia Andersson, travel engagement leader at travel consultancy Festive Road (previously global programme


88 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019


LOOK AT MIRRORING SOMEONE IN BODY LANGUAGE AND VOICE TONE


buyingbusinesstravel.com


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