Intentionality: Strategic Communications, Part One

March 7, 2013 — 1 Comment

We all want to communicate well.  But realistically, how often do we communicate with intention? Sometimes, even beyond communicating with intention, we need to stop and consider how to communicate strategically in order to achieve what is important to us.


This week, I am going to step back to a very simplistic communications tool that may give you pause as you consider how you communicate to achieve successful ends. It is called the DEAR MAN and it will walk you through some valuable considerations to make as you consider how to communicate with strategic intention. When speaking with someone and seeking to communicate strategically, consider this model:

Describe:        Describe the situation, sticking to the facts.

Express:         Express your feelings using only “I” statements – stay away from the word “you”.

Assert:            Ask for what you want or say “no” clearly. Remember, others can not read your mind.

Reinforce:       Reward the other person in advance by explaining the positive effects of your desired outcome. Then, reward them again afterwards by telling them how your objective will benefit them as well.

Mindful:         Keep your focus on what you want to achieve, avoiding distractions. Come back to your point repeatedly until the other person acknowledges not only hearing you, but taking into account your perceived benefits. Do not allow yourself be baited by the other person.

Appear Confident:      Make and maintain eye contact (if culturally appropriate). Use a confident tone of voice – do not raise your voice (for any reason), whisper, mumble or give up.

Negotiate:       Be willing to “give something to get something”. Ask for the other person’s input. Offer alternative solutions to the challenge. Know when to “agree to disagree” and walk away – but do so with both your pride and respect for the other person intact.

If we want something from another person, it is usually not too effective to demand what we want and expect to receive it on time, under budget or with any level of quality or accuracy – especially if you work in a culturally diverse environment. It is far more effective to follow some simple steps, make some reasonable considerations and engage the person you are communicating with strategically.

How do you strategically communicate with intention?

Please engage the discussion and let us know how you communicate with strategic intention. You can always contact me at or by visiting our website at Check back next week for the next installment of Leadership Across Boundaries and Borders.

* This tool is adapted from Alec Miller’s Dialectical Behavior Therapy Training Group and Marsha Lineham’s Skill Training Manual.


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Sheri is The Global Coach, founder of Luminosity Global Consulting Group, Global Executive Coach, Speaker, Writer and Global Business and Cultural Expert.

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