by Mailys Pineau
Last month Women in Transport members gathered at Momentum Transport Consultancy’s offices for an evening seminar led by Tamsen Garrie on ‘Learning the Art of Conversation’.
Tamsen Garrie has worked in the field of people, team and business development for over 20 years, initially in an Operational Management and HR capacity in the corporate sector and later in the SME sector, both as a business owner and as a consultant.
As well as being an HR Professional, Tamsen is a qualified and experienced psychotherapist and hypnotherapist and has trained in NLP. This, combined with her experience working with hundreds of businesses, training leaders and developing numerous teams, has resulted in a thorough understanding of the many challenges that are familiar to business owners and managers. She now chooses to work with businesses with significant growth aspirations to transform their approach both strategically and operationally and to create the vision, the mindset, the leadership and the plan to enable both individual and collective success.
The seminar was opened by David Hart, Director of Momentum Transport Consultancy, who highlighted how success is never achieved on one’s own but comes through the interaction and collaboration of different people and disciplines. This is particularly the case in consultancy where building effective relationships is critical internally within the organisation; between other consultancies as part of larger client-led multi-disciplinary design teams and in discussions with stakeholders, such as local authorities, where ‘challenge’ often results in improvements being made.
Tamsen opened her talk by pointing out that conversation is a skill that can be acquired and refined, and that we can all benefit from it by creating environments and relationships conducive to success. She compared relationships to bridges over water: the stronger the bridge, the more it can hold in difficult situations. A strong relationship can withstand the ups and downs of both business and personal life. Strong relationships enable more productive conversations and improve the chances of achieving the desired outcomes, particularly when it comes to difficult conversations or asking favours.
In order to build such relationships, Tamsen highlighted that adaptability in communication styles is key. She said that the verbal communication channel (what you say) accounts for 7 per cent of messages being understood, while vocal and visual channels (how you say it and what you do when you say it) respectively account for 38 per cent and 55 per cent of the effectiveness of messages. Therefore, in order to have meaningful conversations, one needs to understand someone’s communication preferences (Open or closed? Slow or fast?) and communicate in a way that makes it easy for others to listen, be motivated and comfortable.
Tamsen then introduced four ‘rapport styles,’ taken from The Platinum Rule by Tony Alessandra, to help identify people’s preferences, based on pace and priority issues. These are: socialisers, directors, thinkers and relaters. She went through the dos & don’ts for each style, explaining how to best get messages across in person, on the phone or in writing. She concluded the session by showing the five rapport bridges, explaining how relationships can progress from clichés to authenticity and congruence, where mutual empathy and trust make the relationship more important than the individuals within it.
Following Tamsen’s presentation, the conversations continued over drinks and hospitality generously sponsored by Momentum Transport Consultancy.
Here are a few comments from our members:
"Tamsen's talk was incredibly insightful and useful in terms of understanding why we behave in certain ways and why the interaction between two individuals who are different can result in tension. Her advice was very helpful"
"Was good to gain a different perspective on working habits and how other people may interpret things."
"Was very eye-opening and made me realise I need to be more aware of other peoples approaches to tasks and situations in order to become a better team player and manager."
"I found Tamsen very engaging, professional and knowledgeable. The presentation was just right in terms of time and content."
Our grateful thanks to Momentum Transport for hosting this event and for their generous hospitality.