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“Nearly every other management skill depends on your ability to communicate effectively — formally or informally, in person or in writing.”
January 22, 2008

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities,
in the experts very few.”
Shunryu Suzuki

“The problem with communication is the illusion that it has occurred.” — George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) Irish playwright and essayist
“Presentation of a financial report is as much a ‘design thing’ as is the creation of a sexy-looking product.”

GOAL: develop advanced communication skills so that you can communicate better with anyone — any time — anywhere — and create the results you want with people.

http://www.dothetest.co.uk/ we see what we’re prepared to see.

People like people who are like them and people like people who like them. Pick the moments when someone feels most at ease and happy to move the relationship forward. Don’t make suggestions or requests when they are acting in an unbecoming way; your efforts will only backfire. Praise the behavior you want to flourish. Don’t ask for more from someone until they have invested more time, money, other resources, or emotional “chits” in the relationship.

1. Do people get along better when talking to each other if they are facing each other or if they are standing side by side?

2. Who tends to face the person with whom they are speaking (men or women) and who tends to stand side by side, facing more or less the same way (women or men)?

3. If you want to increase the chance of knowing if someone is lying to you, what is one helpful phenomenon to notice about that person’s face when he or she is talking to you?

4. If you want to keep someone’s attention, is it better to wear a patterned shirt or blouse or a plain blouse or shirt?

5. What is the most directly emotional of all the senses, bypassing the thinking facilities and causing a quicker, more intense reaction in the limbic (emotions) system than any other sense?

6. Are you more likely to get someone to support you or buy something if you give them something up front, unasked, before you ask for the favor?

7. Who tends to maintain wider peripheral vision when entering a new place, men or women?

8. Who tends to be more specific in their descriptions, adults or children?

9. Of the previous eight questions, which is the one people are most likely to ask for the answer to first and, if reading the questions in a group, are most likely to comment on first?

1. People get along better when they “sidle,” stand or sit side by side rather than when they face each other.

2. Men are more likely to sidle than women.

3. Note the timing and duration of the first “reactive” expression on someone’s face when you think that person is not telling you the truth. When lying, most

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people can put an innocent expression on their faces, yet few (except pathological liars) will have the right timing or duration of that expression.
If you ignore the expression itself and, instead, consider whether the timing and duration of the expression seem natural, you’ll greatly increase your chances of knowing if that person is lying.

4. Wearing a plain, unpatterned shirt or blouse will increase the chances that the listener will hear you longer. A patterned top or ornate jewelry or loud tie will break up the listener’s attention span sooner, and that person is more likely to go on more “mental vacations” sooner.

5. Smell is the most directly emotional of the senses. The right natural scent can refresh or relax you and others in your home or work site. Vanilla, apple, and chocolate are the scents Americans most like.

6. Yes, up to 14 times more likely to get their support or a purchase. This gut instinct is often called “reciprocity reflex.” Learn more by reading Influence by Robert Cialdini.

7. Women. That is why store owners who serve men will increase their sales if they have prominent, eye-level signage over large displays where men will see the signage soon after entering the store and will want to learn about digital signage as soon as they see them.

8. Children are more vividly specific, hitting their prime around fourth grade and then beginning to speak in generalities, more like adults. A specific detail proves a general conclusion, not the other way around. Plus, specifics are more memorable and credible.

9. Question number 3.
It seems that we have an inordinate interest in lying.

How many of you have ever been at a meeting and been bored to death and just wished it was over? How many of you were leading the meeting at the time?

We’ve all attended meetings that were deathly dull.

Why? If you’ll think back to those meetings, what happened that caused you to zone out?


– info didn’t matter to me

-I didn’t like/trust/respect the speaker.


-boring speaker

-no agenda

So what we’re going to talk about over the next 2 days is making sure this never happens to you, whether you’re making a presentation, having an important conversation, dealing with a difficult person, selling to a prospect, leading a conference call, communicating key points at a meeting, or leaving a voice message. We’re going to cover it all!

And I’m going to give you the absolute key to communication success in just a few minutes, but first:

Who are the people that you communicate with at work?

1. customers

2. colleagues

3. management

4. “subordinates”

5. staff

If you could communicate better with each of these groups, what would that mean to you?

Results, Response, Respect, Revenue/Rewards, Relationships/Rapport, Recognition that you deserve.

The key to success: always focus your message on them. If you want to advance your communication skills and the results you receive, if you want to be understood, make sure what you’re saying has value and relevance to the listener/reader.

If I started talking right now about my grocery list, that might interest you for a moment, mainly because it would be so odd. But really, why would you care about my grocery list. Unless you were coming to dinner, my grocery list, no matter how important to me it may be, won’t matter to you. Then if I ask you to give me a result – like drive over to the store and pick up some kiwi or cantaloupe for my dessert  – you’d pretty much think I was nuts. But we do this all the time:

I remember a sales person who was making a presentation and the feature that was most exciting about the hotel was the golf course. So he told everyone about the golf course. It didn’t matter who the group was, how long they were staying, what the inquiry was for, he mentioned the golf course.

Here’s an email that does the same thing:

Dear Bride-to-be,
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today to discuss your inquiries for lodging needs.
Given Marriott’s distribution across the globe, we are well positioned to meet your needs. I will be sure to follow-up with you to see if I can further assist your wedding reception guests.
Don’t forget, Marriott’s Global Sales Team is here to help whenever you need us! Please let me know if I can assist you in anyway.
Have a great day!

Talk about a poor presentation! I think the bride wants to house her guests – the reference to the inquiry about lodging needs. But then what does the sales person do? Maybe they just went through training about Marriott’s global distribution and vroom – they’re talking about it  – to- a- bride! What does she need? The quickest, simplest easiest way to get poor results is to communicate about stuff that only matters to us!

To communicate masterfully then, we need to:
1 Eliminate self-defeating behavior
1. Create clear, respectful messages
2. Present the message so it resonates for the listener/reader
3. Choose a delivery method that meets the needs of the receiver

Day 1:

1. Eliminate self-defeating behavior
-Presentation skills

Sorry Susan, your thread got hijacked here, but here are some sources you might draw from:
Mehrabian’s own site: http://www.kaaj.com/psych/
Related Mehrabian sites focussing on the study:



Communication obstacles
Hearing what we want to hear. Our own experience and background greatly influences what we hear or understand. We often hear what our minds tell us someone has said instead of the actual words. Because we have preconceptions about what people are going to say, we tend to adjust their message if it doesn’t fit into our frame of reference.

Ignoring conflicting information. When ideas conflict with our own beliefs, we tend to reject, ignore, avoid and forget them. Or, we may twist and shape their meaning to fit our preconceived notions.

Perceptions about the communicator. It is difficult for us to separate what we hear from our feelings about the communicator. We tend to accept messages from those we like and reject messages from those we dislike. The communicator’s credibility largely influences our perception of the message. Even the communicator’s body language, such as shifty eyes, uncomfortable postures and facial expressions, affect our interpretation.

Varying connotations. Depending on one’s life experience, words can mean entirely different things to different people. Word meanings are not always universal, and tend to depend on our frame of reference. For instance, consider the words, “cheap,” “smooth”” and “tough.” Each has multiple connotations.

Noise. Both literal and figurative noise such as personal preoccupations or distractions can hinder effective communication. Noise can distort, obscure or completely block communication. Think about the “telephone” game children play. One child whispers a message to the next, and it is repeated around the circle. By the time the last child hears the message, it generally has changed considerably from the original message. To enhance your communication skills and conquer inevitable obstacles, consider the following:

How much of what we know have we learned by listening? 85% (Shorpe)
What amount of the time are we distracted, preoccupied or forgetful? 75% (Hunsaker)
How much do we usually recall immediately after listening to someone talk? 50% (Robinson)
What amount of time do we spend listening? 45% (Robinson)
How much of what we hear do we remember? 20% (Shorpe)

2. Present the message so it matters

3. communicate respectfully and clearly

3.  Choose the best delivery method

Day I:

• Communication Essentials

Care enough to communicate

If you want to be understood, make sure what you’re saying has value and relevance to the listener/reader.

The next time you want to get an important point across:
1. Take some time to write down what you’d like to achieve.

2. Write down how your message/point is relevant/impacts to your listener.
2. Share the point and the supporting thinking with the other person.
3. Allow the other person to probe into your thinking.
4. Clarify each others’ points to one another.
5. Agree on how you will stay in communication.
6. Realize that some issues might take more than one conversation to fully communicate.

Question: How do you make sure you’re communicating clearly?

Two monologues or a dialogue

It’s what we say to ourselves and what we say to others.

Beyond the basics

-Introductions (communication assessment)

-Identifying and eliminating self-defeating behaviors

• Communicating ideas professionally

-Analyzing and developing “core” messages

-Predicting audience needs

-Appealing to audience nuances

-Determining listener communication styles

-Becoming culturally aware and relevant

-Creating compelling openings

-Developing impactful conclusions

-Adding “stickiness”

-Developing stories

• Presentation development: Business topics assigned

• Video-taped individual presentations w/ class debrief

Day II


A: Communications expert provides private, individualized, confidential debrief of video presentation (15 min coaching sessions)

B: Marriott facilitator interacts and guides participants in small groups as they apply learning to refine and improve their pre-work topics/presentations.

• Activity: Short pre-work presentations and/or extemporaneous presentations

• Handling communication confrontations/conflicts, objections and questions

-Being purposeful

-Listening for commonality

-Using positive frames

-Responding to hostility, professionally and persuasively

-Counter-acting negativity

-Moving buyers to yes

• Navigating formal and informal communication situations including:

The “High Stakes” Audience
Board Meetings
Conference Calls
Casual Internal meetings
“Pop-up” meetings
Cancelled meetings
Elevator speeches
Extemporaneous conversations

• Round II: Formal class presentations: Business Topic assigned


• identify and use appropriate interpersonal communication choices, in both verbal and written communications, based on: audience, culture, organizational hierarchy, and generational differences

• be aware of culturally sensitive nuances and choices

• adjust communication style to audience expectations and communication styles

• apply “core message”/”elevator pitch” concepts for effective extemporaneous presentations

• develop conversations and presentations based on proven principles of influence

• build rapport, guided by principles of “likeability”

• resolve conflicts through a 3-step “purpose” checklist

• contrast presentations that “data-dump” with those that build buy-in through storytelling

• analyze components of powerful story

• develop “sticky” messages

• facilitate and solicit open discussion with interested and hostile/negative listeners/buyers

• advance the “STAR” presentation method by creating compelling, persuasive openings

• build consensus with impactful, prepared and planned conclusion statements

• apply communication processes to efficiently and effectively navigate informal communication situations including, but not limited to:

-The “High Stakes” Audience

-Board Meetings

-Conference Calls

-Casual Internal meetings

-“Pop-up” meetings

-Cancelled meetings

-Elevator speeches

• apply effective listening principles to advance the KISS method for answering questions and successfully handling objections

• develop a plan to create a safe environment for skeptics and others who might derail communication due to opposing/competing agendas/needs

• utilize presentation/communication “control” tools to stay focused, poised and professional

• select persuasive, memorable methods to manage collateral

• distinguish between action-oriented email messages and those that contain email “blunders”

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