How to say all the right things…
If you want people to listen to you it takes more than just speaking up!
We have many ways of communicating these days – phone, text, email, video conference, collaboration apps, face to face, social media. Each one is a little different, operates on slightly unique standards of practice and opens up new ways for miscommunication. As we have grown to incorporate more and more of these mediums into our daily work life we haven’t necessarily upgraded our skills to meet the mounting expectations, opportunities and barriers. Inarguably our business success relies on our ability to communicate – an idea, a pitch, a request for promotion, it all relies on our ability to communicate our message effectively. So why do so few of us invest in our communication skills?
Likely, folks aren’t prioritizing investment in communication skills because it's viewed as an assumed skill. Beyond basic motor skills the first thing we start doing as humans is communicate. Every day all day we communicate. Of course, we are proficient in it – wrong! We may be good at translating our thoughts into the words we need to articulate them, but effective communication is so much more than that. It all comes down to empathy and perception. Communication is transactional meaning, it requires a speaker, an audience and some active thinking to phrase and decode messages for accurate meaning - see for yourself!
Ok so let’s make this easier to understand (in alignment with the topic). How many times have you read a text as abrupt, assumed conflict and responded defensively only to see the conversation’s tone escalate? That is classic lack of empathy and perspective. If we hone our skills to slow down, consider the person and their individual personality and jump out of your own perspective to consider other angles we often reply with more openness, questions and patience inevitably leading to more productive conversation.
This is a practiced skill that requires knowledge of communication theory to support your approach. To some it comes easier than others, but everyone can hone the skill. This becomes really important in business where we must regularly present persuasive arguments of our case and share critical information. There are circumstances where having really good communication will be a key factor in your success.
There are tons of tools and resources out there to sharpen your communication sensibility. Don’t underestimate the importance and overestimate your ability when it comes to communication skills.
Botree has extensive experience supporting individuals, teams and leaders with upgrading their communication skills. Start being heard and influencing change now with one of our programs!