Are you really communicating?
Sometimes the communication process can be easily skewed by how well we "listen". The truth is that we get so passionate about something that we miss out on an opportunity to listen to what is happening around us. We talk a lot to convey our message, but because we are stuck in "communication" mode, we miss the potential to hear what may be available to us. Are you that person?
Whether in business or personal relationships, it is easy to "tell" someone about your goal, your ideas or your initiative. It is exciting to you - and it should be! Your message flows off the tip of your tongue effortlessly because it is something you know and you want
to share your information with others because it is important to you. I get it. I am much the same. I want to share a message with others as well. It can quickly become frustrating because while some may be hearing me, they may not be listening to me. It takes some effort to still your voice long enough to understand what someone is saying to you. You have to hear the entire message first before you can digest what is being relayed to you. Then only can you make an informed decision on what the next steps may be in helping to reach a goal, bring an idea to reality, or turn an initiative into something solid and profitable.
Have you ever been to a meeting and were cut short by someone in your audience? Usually, it is someone who wants to share his or her opinion on the subject matter before you have the time to complete your sentence. When this happens, the message can be easily rerouted into an entirely different direction. The end result is a goal that never gets to be realized because the story went off-topic and now you are forced to start over from square one. The hard truth is that listening is the vital part of effective communication.
Let's think about ways you may have communicated in your recent past. Maybe you went to a job interview, a blind date, or maybe you were giving or even attending a presentation. What if you did all the talking? What would happen? You cannot gain essential information from others or their ideas if you talk over their message, right? A prime example of poor communication is the man or woman who talks through an entire movie at the theatre. Part of me cringes when I am attending something for business or pleasure and I cannot hear the story because someone is talking over it. So imagine how it must feel if you are the storyteller and you have to deal with constant interruptions.
Stay on Message
If you truly want to communicate an effective
message with others, you must learn that communication requires a three-way process: Speaking, listening and learning. The more people you add to the mix, the larger the volume can become. If you enter into communication with proper structuring, you can actually take an idea and turn it into reality by obtaining the necessary information to make it happen. Speak, listen, learn.