Executive Communication Catalyst: How a Simple Question Saved Time and Transformed a Client’s Career

Elevate your executive communication skills with insights from this success story, demonstrating how Articulation’s coaching services can empower professionals and help them achieve transformative results.


We work through many of the same exercises with all of our Articulation clients: What’s the goal of your communication? What do you want your audience to do? What is at stake for the audience? What is the question on the audience’s mind? After all, we need to start with the basics. 

We know that our clients use these techniques to prepare for the types of communications we see all the time: Board presentations, keynote talks, company town halls. They even use them in hard-to-write emails, or conversations with the boss. But sometimes our clients use their learnings from our coaching in new and wonderful ways. 

I recently worked with a client I’ll call Liam. Liam works in a highly technical field. He came to us on the verge of being promoted, but his communication skills were holding him back. His manager wanted him to be able to communicate clearly with direct reports and feel comfortable presenting to the board without getting into the technical details and jargon of his industry. Liam had an additional long list of things he wanted to work on: Interrupting generously, listening, giving better feedback, storytelling, and getting to the root of problems in conversations. 

Early on, Liam and I discussed lengthy conversations he had to have with clients. These conversations ate up 4-5 hours of each of his days, and because he works across continents, sometimes were happening early in the morning or late at night. I asked, “What’s the goal of these conversations? Do the clients need to do something?” 

What was the reason these client conversations are happening at all? Do they lead to greater insight, solving a problem, making a smart decisions or just more… conversation?

He told me they were to make clients feel better about where Liam’s team is in the process. I followed up with, “Then why do they need to take up so much time? Would an email update suffice?” Liam sat back in his chair and thought for a moment. Usually quick with his answers, he didn’t have one. 

Five months later, Liam had learned a lot. He had really refined the way he talked to his team, had become a better listener, had learned to share technical details with non-tech people through metaphors and storytelling, and received the promotion.

Shortly thereafter, Liam presented an idea to his leadership: Cut the long daily conversations. They would bring the client into conversations when the goal of the conversation was clear, meaningful, and required particular outcomes. That would let them put their heads down and get the work done faster and more efficiently. To his surprise, he got the go ahead. Liam’s not the only one who gets back several hours a week–members of his team do too, which, let’s be honest, is way better for the company as well! 

From listening to Liam talk about it, there is a lot of relief in recovering so much time, and I love nothing more than a streamlined process. I also love witnessing how a simple question about the goal, i.e.. why these conversations were happening at all, can improve processes, and seeing the clever ways these techniques can be applied in lots of different ways.

Make a Breakthrough with Executive Communication Coaching

If you’re seeking similar breakthroughs in your professional growth or looking to enhance your team’s communication prowess, explore our executive communication masterclass and coaching services to unlock your full potential and reshape the way your organization communicates. Contact us to learn more.