Effective communication is always built upon 2 elements: receiving and sending, listening and speaking, reading and reacting.
In the previous blog post, we looked at the importance of deep listening: listening with the main goal of understanding before answering. (click here to read that post)
To have an effective communication, both parts are equally important! So in this post we will look at the other part: the sending, speaking, answering or reacting part.
Read on, to discover the details.
We already know that effective communication is not only about the content of the communication. Actually 93% of the message that is transferred between people is NOT
about the content. Like the research of Mehrabian teaches us, it is much more about HOW a message is transferred (the tone of the voice, the body language, the context wherein the conversation is done) rather than about WHAT is actually transferred (the real content).
There's much to say about those elements, but for now, I'm going to take one step back: let's go to the preceding attitude of an effective communication.
You can look at speaking as the opposite of listening. And like we already learned in the previous post, real listening is about giving your conversation partner a feeling of being totally understood. Only when your conversation partner feels understood, he or she will be at ease and ready to listen to you.
So if you want to make an impact, and want to be sure that what you are sending will actually be received, then the question is not about how you can send or speak better, then the real question is about how you can be sure that your message is received better.
The influence that you have on that is in some ways limited, because it's about how willing or able the other person is to listen to you. That's off course out of your hands, which makes it even more important to be attentive to those things that you can
do to influence how your message is received.
Now, what are those things you can do?
You could spread my previous blog about the importance of listening to everybody who you would like to speak to, and hope that they will listen in a better/deeper way to you after reading it. But that's perhaps not the most practical suggestion ;-)
Although, and especially in the context of a company culture, it can be useful to educate and create some game rules about listening to each other.
Another way how you can influence the way your message is received, is by being attentive to the elements that make impactful speaking an art. For example your body posture; whether if what you're wearing is in line with the message you want to transfer; the usage of your voice (loud or soft, fast or slow); the vocabulary that you're using;...
All very specific elements, and many specialists in each of those fields that are more then willing to help and train you in those specific areas.
But the single one, probably most easy, yet frequently overlooked thing you can do to upgrade the impact of your message immediately, is:
"Create the space".
Because speaking is only effective if there is someone listening, that's what you need to assure first!
It sounds so obvious that that is probably the reason why it is overlooked so often.
Don't take it for granted that the person you speak to is actually listening. True listening requires a state of presence and focus, of shutting off your own thoughts and emotions for a second to fully take in the message.
Chances are that your communication partner is not doing that at the moment when you want to deliver your message. So if you're not paying attention to that part, then there is a chance that the core message of what you're saying will get lost.
If you do pay attention to it, then you can create the space in which your message can land.
Look at it as if the thoughts of the other person are a jungle, and you want to land an airplane in it. Then you will first have to build a landing strip for your message.
Doing so is actually not that hard.
Here are some examples you could use:
- Lead by example, and always be very attentive and listen actively when someone says something to you.
- Ask a question that sets the mindset of the other person to be ready to listen. Could be something like:
- "I have an opinion about that. Is it OK if I share that with you?"
- "Do you want to hear my thoughts on that?"
- "Do you have a moment for me so I can say something to you?"
- Use the power of silence to get the full attention.
Especially with a question as stated above: "Do you have a minute?" - reply: "yeah sure", and then they just continue without even looking up. Then the power of silence can be really helping you to get the attention to be listened to.
So if you want to upgrade your communication immediately, and want to be more effective with it, then be sure you are a deep listener yourself AND
that you always create the space in which you are listened to.
Good luck in creating that space, and let me know what the effects are when you approach it like this.
Or if you experience some trouble with it, or find yourself always stepping into the same pitfalls, then let's have a conversation!
I promise that I will be a good listener when you want to talk! ;-)
Grab a (re-)connect session in my agenda to get our first direct interaction, (click to book your session)
join the Ambitious Leader Community (a free FB group to dive deeper into topics like this), (click to join the group)
or just send me an email at email@example.com
Geschreven door Dennis Fredrickx