The power of effective communication.
“I never know what I’ve said till I’ve heard the reply.” (Sam Goldwyn)
To have powerful positive influence, we need to both be clear about our purpose and to have the ability to understand, adapt and connect to others. Effective communication is in the eyes and ears of the recipient. It’s a package: our words, our physicality, and our voice tone. It reflects our attitude to ourselves, the world, and the people we come into contact with.
It’s not that complicated. There are listening, speaking and understanding skills involved in great communication – and great communication serves the individual, the team and the organisation.
Of course we want to have terrific personal impact, but we sometimes don’t understand how we are coming across, or what to do to build more productive relationships.
It takes self-awareness and awareness of what will work best for others. Openness is key, through curiosity, giving and receiving feedback well, handling the more difficult conversations with assertiveness and respect, and clarity and explicitness.
Often we have what I think of as onstage / offstage behaviours, so we might be brilliant at being in the spotlight but unaware of our impact when it seems less important. Every interaction is important. This is what emotional intelligence boils down to. We can spend our lives assuming or we can check our assumptions with others. We can look closely at whether our perceptions of ourselves are visible and align with our values. We can mindfully project the image and impression we want to create in the workplace. We can adapt and connect to others in a way that they can understand. We can make the onstage and offstage moments count, lighting up our own lives and giving every situation the best shot.
It takes energy, and for most of us mere mortals, practice. We always have more to learn. We can lay the foundations for that everyday ‘practice’ by looking at what we say and how we say it, in a place where we can afford to experiment, make mistakes, and try something new.
For more information visit our Effective Communications page.