Communicating as a Leader

Communicating Effectively

Bill Brennan asked:

Effective communication is one of the most important lessons you will ever learn. Your ability to communicate effectively will have an affect on both your personal and business life.

One of the most important things in a relationship – whether it is a business or personal relationship – is communication. There is a big difference between talking and communicating. Communication involves more than just mindless chatter – it involves all parties using their listening skills as well as talking skills. In most instances, whether in business or personal relationships, most problems are caused by ineffective communication. Effective communication happens when all parties understand the information or idea that is being discussed. Learning the art of communicating effectively will make both your personal and business relationships smoother.

Rules For Communicating Effectively

The following rules will help you learn to communicate more effectively and eliminate many misunderstandings:

Organization – The first step is to know what message you want the listener to receive. Systematically organize your thoughts so that your message will be clear and easy to understand. Unorganized thoughts can lead to misunderstandings and confuse the listener. If you don’t know what message you want to convey, how can you expect the recipient of the message to know what you are trying to convey?

Planning – Important conversations should be planned ahead of time. Think of several scenarios with different reactions and plan where you will go with each reaction. Think about the person with whom you will be communicating, taking into consideration that person’s personality and behavior. Prepare a solution for each reaction so that you know beforehand how you will respond.

Body Language – Non-verbal signals are a large part of the communication factor. Your facial expressions and gestures will play a role in determining the response that you will receive. Your body language must match your words for your communication to be clear. Sending mixed signals is one of the most frequent causes of miscommunication.

Simple and Concise – The goal is to convey a certain message that creates a response. Keep your key points simple and easy to understand. If you state your point in a clear and concise manner without repeating yourself, your message will be easier for the recipient to understand.

Respond – Often times, it is hard to separate facts from feelings. You should always respond to the person you are communicating with rather than reacting to the person emotionally. Be sure to clearly answer any questions or concerns that the person may have, and again – keep it simple.

Common Ground – Try to find a common ground with the person you are communicating with. Don’t place your focus on differences of opinion, but work together to find a common ground that all parties can be comfortable with.

Stay Positive – Staying positive will decrease the chance that the person you are communicating with will react to you rather than respond. Negative statements more often elicit a negative reaction. Positive statements will more often elicit a positive response.

Listen – The goal of effective communication is for all parties involved to come to an understanding about the topic of the conversation. It is very important that you listen to what the other person has to say and address any concerns that either of you may have. Many times, whether the person likes a change or not, they are more willing to make the change if they feel that the person communicating with them actually listens to their point of view.

Good communication skills are an important part of leading a successful life. Having good communication skills improves both your personal and business relationships and makes life more pleasant for all involved.

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