From daily conversations to strategic planning meetings the one tool used over and over is communication. But are you being effective?
The spoken word is powerful, but there is another kind of communication – body language. Depending on how used, talking and body language can make for a productive exchange or destroy the moment.
Perhaps the most significant form of communication, though, is listening.
So the three components of communication are:
• Talking (verbalizing)
• Body language
Understanding these components and the impact on you and others is critical to getting what you want – your desired outcome.
Talking purposefully is energizing and effective. When you go into a discussion or conversation prepared with knowing what you want to get out of the exchange, you are able to focus and stay on track.
Remember, listening plays a very big part.
If I had to rank these three in order of importance, it would be: 1) listening, 2) body language and 3) verbalizing.
Take a minute to reflect on a recent conversation. It could be with a significant other, a friend or colleague. Do you remember how it went?
Were you forming your response while the other person was talking, or were you asking for more information from the person with statements like “Help me understand” or “If I heard you correctly …”
See the difference?
Effective communication uses “empathic listening.” Simply put, it is a way of truly understanding what the other individual is saying — really saying — and not formulating your response while the other person is talking. Responding as quickly as possible is the norm. It shouldn’t be.Consider the effective use of these methods of communication as tools to put in your toolbox.
At work, you can resolve conflicts rather quickly when you use effective communication tools.
By asking probing questions as you listen to the other person, you validate the individual and the individual’s points of view. It does not mean you necessarily agree with the point of view, but you validate that it is a point of view. That serves to validate the person. This approach levels the playing field and opens up dialogue.
I encourage you to “try” this communication tool. It won’t come naturally until you practice. But with time you will see the effectiveness and, as a result, you will become much more skilled in getting the results you want.