“Communication is Everything!”
Lee Iacocca made this statement in his book Iacocca, and many others have made similar claims in an effort to highlight the necessary skills to excel and inspire as a leader. But effective communication is not just for high profile leaders. Effective communication transcends every aspect of our business and personal lives. What you are able to accomplish as a business person, parent, friend, educator, customer, client or supplier is highly dependent on your ability to get the message across. Probably 99% of the problems within organizations are caused by a breakdown or failure in the communication process.
According to research, people believe that those who can text at lightning speed, plow through emails, blog consistently or speak loud, fast and have no problem talking with others on any subject, are effective communicators. In fact, the opposite is often true. Being able to quickly string words together does not mean the message is understood by others.
To effectively get your message across, start with these 4 Communication Basics:
- Be Clear: Clarity saves time, money and mistakes. Answer the question that is being asked. Ask for the information you desire. Too often people beat around the bush or go off on a tangent and the real issues are not addressed. Additionally, if you are providing instructions, provide details and expectations. Assuming the recipient knows what you want or how to do it can lead to disappointment on both sides.
- Know Your Audience: Perspective is based on an individual and that individual may not look at things the same way you do. Consider who you are communicating with. Think about the other persons’ perspective.
- What is his or her point of view?
- What are his or her problems or concerns?
- What is he or she trying to accomplish?
- What is his or her level of knowledge or information?
- Listen: Perhaps the most overstated and under practiced element of all! Listening shows respect and indicates that what the individual has to convey is important. It also allows you to get information. Let people complete a thought before responding. Most of us are already forming a response before we even hear the full thought or read the full message. Key information could be—and is often— missed.
- Hear What Isn’t Being Said: Watch Body Language. Everything being communicated is not always stated in words…yours or theirs! We spend hours planning what to say, painstakingly choosing words to position ourselves and our products, services or ideas in the most effective way. We spend additional hours analyzing the words of others, attempting to determine the “real meaning.” Words are important but convey less than half the message. What might the body language we observe be saying and what might yours be communicating about you?
Apply these Communication Basics to your next conversation and get your message across, and remember… “Communication is EVERYTHING!”
A FocalPoint Business Coach can provide you with tips like these, along with others which you will find throughout the FocalPoint Business Coaching and Training website. Our professional global Business Coaches will assist with making your customers and employees into passionate supporters of your business. All it takes is a little kindness, and a lot of attention to detail. Contact a FocalPoint Business Coach today.
Margaret Maclay | Certified Business Coach
Director Franchise Onboarding, Certification, Support, Assessment Centre and Business Coach
FocalPoint Coaching and Business Training