ORFF – How To Focus Your Communications Part 2

What does ORFF stand for again? O- objectives; R- Rapport; F – Feedback; F – Flexibility;

So what about rapport? Firstly its highly important to ask yourself – what is rapport and how do you know when you’re in rapport with someone?

Raport is achieved when two people are communicating openly and with ease. When we’re in rapport there is a sense that there is a connection, often subconscious with the other person. How can we achieve this?

The simplest way is to find something in common with the other person – did you work in the same company, have you similar interests, do you live in the same place. This can help create rapport on a conscious level. But what about subconsious?

Again the key thing to remember is having something in common. Think of how the other person is speaking – loud, quiet, slow, fast and what words they are using. Begin to speak in a similar way using similar and the same words – if they use visual words they you use visual words and so on. What you’re aiming to do is have the way your speaking “in common” with the way they’re speaking.

You can also do the same with body language which is called “matching and mirroring“. Adopt similar body language to them, move with similar gestures and facial expressions. So your body language is the “same” as theirs. How do you measure if its working?

By how well the communication goes. This week try the above with someone you had communication challenges with in the past. Be very flexibility to adopt your voice and body language to match theirs. Notice the difference. When done right its truly amazing!

Remember when we’re getting on well with people this is happening anyway. Its not a new invention, its simply a matter of noticing whats going on when we communicate well and using it to help us all communicate better with eachother. Surely this is a good thing!

For more information on this see any good book on Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)



ORFF – How To Focus Your Communications

Have you ever attended a meeting which goes on and on and on and doesn’t achieve anything? Or where people keep repeating themselves or talk just for the sake of talking while others sit there huffing and puffing because they want to be elsewhere?

A number of years ago I came up with a formula which I have found really useful as an ‘on the spot’ communication strategy. This strategy I call ORFF. You can use it in any communication situation – meetings, one to ones, presentations, video conferencing, whatever, to help create focus and realise objectives. It’s not a 100% guaranteed but with practice it will not only help you achieve the objectives of the communication situation it will save loads of time! So what is ORFF?

O – Objectives
R – Rapport
F – Feedback
F – Flexibility


Consider the objectives from three points of view – the people you are communicating with, the company you are representing and your own.

First Point of View:
ask yourself why are the other people at the meeting? What do they want to achieve? If you’re not sure ask them – as Stephen Covey said in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “seek first to be understood and then to understand”. So listen to them first and put all your attention on understanding why they are there. To be really sure you know their objectives summarise them back and clarify if needs be.

Second Point of View: what are the objectives of the company you represent? What would they like to achieve in the meeting? For example what image do they want you to portray? What products do they want you to sell? Last night I was in a supermarket and there was only one girl at the checkouts. The queue was huge. She kept ringing for help from another girl who was packing shelves. This girl eventually came around and said in front of all the customers in the queue – “I’m doing something, where’s Kim?” Not exactly a great message to display in front of customers! Before you go into a meeting ask yourself what are the objectives of the company you represent?

Third Point of View:
what are your objectives? Again a few moments spent creating positive focussed objectives before a meeting will save time and help you hit the target. You can of course use the SMART strategy to help focus your objectives or simply ask yourself – what is your objective(s) and how will you know it is achieved?

Suggested Exploration
For the next week decide to make sure you know the above three objectives for all your communication situations – the people you are communicating with, the company you represent and yourself. Notice what works and make it work better!

Next week I’ll write an article on the second step in ORFF – Rapport – going a bit deeper than simply asking a few light hearted questions like – “how did you get here?”

Until then, carpe diem and focus your communications!

How to Create Purpose

A number of years ago I had the privilege of having dinner with Tony Buzan the originator of mind maps. Tony has written over eight books on the mind and how to use more of it. He has coached olympic athletes, business people and even Governments to raise the intelligence level of a whole country. Lets just say he has had a positive influence on the lives of thousands, if not millions of people.

During the dinner we got talking about purpose and what it means. He asked me what was mine, I said “to help people”. He looked at me, paused for a second and said “sure that could mean giving them heroine!”. So I asked him what his purpose was and without hesitation he said “to raise the mental literacy of the world!”

A few weeks ago I wrote an article entitled How to Live Your Dream and the first step in the article was to create a great purpose for your life. Of course there may be many purposes in our lives depending on the different roles we play – a business purpose, a life purpose, a parents purpose, a spouses purpose and so on. For this article lets focus on your business purpose. [Read more…]

How to Create your own Business

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it” – Goethe

Here’s a five step strategy on how to create your own business, illustrated by a personal example.

1. Set a Goal: It was July 1991 and I was sitting at the dining room table in my parents house. I’d read about goal setting and the power of writing goals down. For a few years I’d been thinking about starting my own business. I opened a page in my diary and wrote my goal “In April 1992 I will have my own business”.

2. Believe in YourSelf – Had I any idea what the business would be? Not particularly but because I worked in computers it would quite likely be in that industry. Had I any idea about how to run a business? Very, very little. Would most people think it was a great idea and tell me – “what a great idea Sean, go for it!” Very unlikely (in 1992 it was very difficult to get any type of a job in Ireland!). I was more likely to be told “cop on to yourself and stay with what pays the bills!” So I only told a few people. [Read more…]

How to Live Your Dream

Is living your dream only for a select few or can we all realise our dreams? Here’s six tips to help you live yours.

1. Create a Great Purpose – The greater the reason you have to live your dream the greater your motivation. Think of those who have achieved greatly in their lives. Their purpose wasn’t limited by a personal agenda but by a purpose which was far greater than themselves. A few years ago I had the honour to musically lead Sir Bob Geldof into a conference. During his keynote speech he spoke about how “Live Aid” began. He said, “…our goal was to raise $75,000 to help feed people in Africa. Now millions and millions of dollars later we’re still doing it.” Create a great purpose for your dream – world abundance, world peace, feed the world, make poverty history or whatever resonates deep within you, almost as if you were born for this purpose to be realised.

2. Explore Your Dreams – What are your talents and gifts? What are you deeply passionate about? What do you love? Everyone has talents and gifts. Everyone has unique contributions to make to our world. However if we just follow everyone elses lead hoping to be liked and approved of, we may miss our calling. Ask yourself – what do you truly love doing? Do you lose track of time when you’re doing this? Would you do it even if you never got paid? [Read more…]

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