If you struggle to create cohesiveness with others in your business or in the workplace in general, you will benefit from reading on. This article is all about creating strong, mutually beneficial relationships that promote increased productivity while leaving everyone feeling like they got what they wanted out of the experience. Keep reading to find out how you can use the strategy of alignment in your business interactions.

~ What is Alignment? ~

When you think alignment, you may automatically think of how awkward the steering on your vehicle gets when the alignment isn't done regularly. There is another type of alignment which can be applied to verbal interactions with yourself or with other people. The kind of alignment we are referring to here is similar to your vehicle’s alignment. In fact, if you don't create alignment regularly in your business interactions, you will find that your communication gets off track, just as the steering does in your car.

Communication alignment is when you and the people you're communicating with share a common goal. You do this by digging deep into what each person is saying and finding out what everyone wants out of the experience. By communicating goals and desired outcomes, identifying strategies for achieving those goals becomes much easier. Alignment creates happy people and extremely effective business communication.

In business, we are often encouraged to learn new listening techniques or memorizing scripts to overcome possible objections. Yet, we overlook one of the most important keys to effective communication – creating alignment. Every successful interaction begins with alignment and it is guaranteed to make a significant impact on everyone involved.

To better grasp the concept of alignment, think about how we are all interconnected in life. We each have our own goals and aspirations, and we all go in our own direction in order to achieve these goals. Yet, the interactions we have with others affect (and sometimes limit) how we live our lives. We can be faced with obstacles when we interact with others who are going in a different direction than we are. It is how we choose to communicate with these people that will ultimately guide us back in the direction we want to be going.

Applying this concept to business, we can see how creating alignment with others helps promote more beneficial outcomes for everyone involved.

~Promoting Internal Alignment~

In order to create alignment with others, we must first create alignment with ourselves. When we understand what we want, we are more capable of expressing it to others.

First ask yourself: what are the underlying values behind your desired outcome? For instance, perhaps you want every attendee to turn off their cell phones during a meeting. As you explore this want, you discover that consideration and focused attention are important to you; these are the underlying values behind your desired outcome of powered off cell phones. Keep in mind that each desired outcome is motivated by underlying values.

~Interacting with Others: The Alignment Conversation~

Once you discover the values which motivate your desired outcome, you are ready to create alignment with others. Start by sharing your values with the others and ask if they too value those things. Would they be willing to work with you to create that kind of experience? By going through this process, we create a shared vision and align our values. A shared vision might be to increase productivity or produce results more quickly. Once everyone is clear on a shared vision, you are ready to brainstorm strategies that will lead you to the results you all desire.

Things to Avoid in the Alignment Conversation:

Try to avoid talk about strategy in the beginning stages of creating alignment. It is better to share each other’s desires and values in a supportive atmosphere where the others just listen. Trying to create a strategy during the exploration process can be distracting and may lead the conversation off track. Make sure that everyone shares their values and expresses their wants before the conversation moves on to strategy.

Also, try not to bring up the past except for the purpose of pointing out a value that may not have existed back then. Do not bring up the past in order to assign fault or to point out failure; this will only hinder the process of creating a shared vision.

Things to Do in the Alignment Conversation:

•Open yourself up to negotiation and keep an open mind.

•Let go of judgment and criticism.

•Celebrate all achievements that come from the conversation.

When you commit to a shared vision, you will find it is easier to work together so that everyone gets what they want out of the experience.

As you discover how important creating alignment is for all of your workplace goals, you will find yourself becoming more and more enthusiastic about applying it. Don't be surprised if you are new alignment skills begin to leak over into the rest of your life and starts creating happier and more satisfying interactions there as well.

Author's Bio: 

Creating alignment is just one piece to the puzzle of effective business communication. For more communication tips, tricks and actionable steps, sign up for our free stimulating Weekly Action Tips eMail series at: http://www.FocusedAttention.com/cmd.php?ad=317928.

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