Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Communication breaks down when i’s aren’t dotted and t’s aren’t crossed. It is mistaken to assume that the message will get through when the message is incomplete.
Being understood is your responsibility. When you take the time to make sure your communication is clear you are taking your responsibility seriously. Being understood is essential for success in sales or leadership.
Of course, just as important as being understood is making sure you understand. Here too you must take responsibility.
Understanding begins with careful listening; listening with the intent to understand. What is the other person saying? Why are they saying it? Are they making any assumptions in their communication? Have they left out any potentially important details? What does their tone of voice tell you? What is their body language saying? Does what they are saying fit in the context?
One valuable technique in understanding is to repeat what the person said. Another valuable tool is to repeat the message by paraphrasing. “What I hear you saying is…,” “As I understand it, you…,” “If I understand correctly, you would like…”
Writing down notes to help you remember is also extremely valuable. The action of writing the ideas down helps in memorization and improves understanding. It also gives you a brief moment for reflection and gives you a chance to follow up with clarifying questions.
Empowered with accurate information at the beginning will help you in your quest to be understood. It will help you execute important documents expertly. It will help you share precise instructions with subordinates or customers. Complete understanding on your part will eliminate confusion and allow you an opportunity to communicate to others effectively.
When you are delivering your message you can proactively think about helping the other person understand your motivation and your assumptions. You can plan for and deliver the appropriate level of detail. You can finely tune your tone of voice and your body language. You can make sure that your message and your actions are congruent with one another and the context of the situation.
When you begin to pay attention to the details your communication will improve greatly and along with it your performance.