Communication, one of the critical 8 C’s, is key to your success.
Communication is great …. when it’s going swimmingly. When it’s not going smoothly assumptions are made, feelings are hurt, information is miscommunicated & we get tangled up in a messy mountain of muck & mire.
The importance of clear communication, that both meets what the sender meant to say & is received in a way that resonates with the person on the other end, simply cannot be underestimated.
And yet who among us remembers being taught how to communicate in school (being bullied on the playground most definitely doesn’t count)?
Not to worry, communication skills can be taught.
Here’s two simple techniques to try the next time you’re on the messy mountain of communication muck & mire.
- When we’re in a communication hot mess we often only see one way out & that’s usually repeating whatever hasn’t worked so far. Not very smart right? You betcha but that’s because our brains aren’t very helpful with high level communication when we’re stressed, they’re more about fight, flee or freeze modes. So next time you’re in a pickle, take a breath & imagine a closed fan. A closed fan represents only one way forward. Now imagine opening the fan & brainstorm several ways of proceeding. The open fan represents many ways of moving forward. This could be: taking a break, involving a third person, using a different channel (eg writing a letter or email if you’ve been communicating face to face etc.).
- Did you know there are 3 main communication methods? I bet you’ve heard of verbal & non-verbal. Do you know the third? It’s paraverbal. Para what? Paraverbal is all about how we say what we say -eg our tone, pacing, inflection, speed etc. Next time you’re sinking in the quagmire try changing up your paraverbal communication. A super easy way to do that is to speak slower. This has a 2 for 1 bonus: you’ll automatically appear more confident & you’ll help relax the person you’re talking to (& a relaxed brain is a way more easy to communicate with brain).
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