If you want to speak fluent management, you need to understand that whenever you speak Management, your message has to be directly related to the most pressing decisions “they” are facing at that time, in context of the Objectives “they” are trying to achieve.
When your message does not relate to these pressing decisions, you will quickly be tagged as a Burden – a drain on their resources. And since their resources are already extremely limited, they will quickly tune you out and gradually reduce the amount of interaction with you.
However, if you consistently ensure that your message is directly related to the pressing decisions they are facing, and if you construct your message in a way that helps them make better decisions, you will quickly be tagged as an Asset – an enhancement of their limited resources – thus increasing their willingness to interact with you and ultimately enhance the level of influence they allow you to have on their decision-making process.
The first thing about being an Asset has to do with your own orientation. What are you focused more on, the problem at hand or the possible solutions to that problem?
When you are Problem Oriented, the nature of your message is likely to be Descriptive – offering endless details and facts about the current situation as well as the path that led up to this current situation, without any suggested solutions. Problem orientation is about looking back, searching for excuses (and in many cases, for people to blame). Being Problem Oriented is the fastest way to becoming a Burden. Until humanity finds a way to travel back in time, the past cannot be altered, making this mindset a total waste of your manager’s time (and yours).
Therefore, to ensure that you are perceived as (and are in fact) an Asset, you need to discard the Descriptive approach, and adapt a Solution Oriented mindset, usually indicated by Analytical messages that focus on possible solutions to the current problems in a way that is based on clearly defined Assumptions, Alternatives, and Early Indicators. (For more on these terms, see our article “The five core elements of an effective presentation” or visit our video center at http://learn.debate.co.il).