We are communicating 100% of the time!
Some find this scary, some to don’t realise, some don’t care and some, like me, have learned to embrace the challenge. It’s a journey of learning and a work in progress, but I have helped some clients get amazing results from a few small changes, I have also successfully applied some of these to my own situations with great results – so thought it was time to share them with you.
I see our words, written and spoken, our actions, intentions, facial expressions, body language, like small pebbles that we drop into the ‘pond’ around us every day. We are getting results from those pebbles, negative or positive. Sometimes it takes one small tweak to change a result, an atmosphere, a work place, or a relationship.
This is true for the whole of our lives, but today my tips are aimed at leaders, managers and business owners.
Before I go into the 4 tips, I will talk about the top 4 most common errors I have observed leaders, managers and business owners make, often through lack of awareness, time or work load pressures or dealing with ‘difficult’ people.
1. They often ‘default’ to what is fastest and most comfortable for them at the time, they need to tell someone something and either want to avoid potential conflict, rejection OR save some time – Example in action: A message that someone needed to get in person was sent by TXT message! Eeek
2. They speak or write in their own language, what makes sense to them and using their own personality and style of communicating, with little knowledge or regard for the recipient’s language or style – Example in action: A direct person sends a short blunt email to a detail focussed person leaving TOO much room for interpretation and upset.
3. They misunderstand or fail to remember the importance of NON-VERBAL communication, Tone, Facial expressions, body language and even intentions. What is NOT being said is often felt. Example in action: A person is saying “yes I am completely happy with that” but they are shaking their head, their face is all screwed up and their arms are folded.
4. They have difficulty truly listening, there is surface listening and then there is in depth listening, surface will get you by in some situations but sooner or later you will miss something vital, the richest interactions we can have is when we know we are truly being listened to. Example in action: A person is nodding, smiling even making ‘hmm’ noises but looking right past you at someone or something else in the room, or at their WATCH! ouch
When it comes to marketing communications, that is another whole conversation, some of the errors made here around lack of understanding about the target audience or market before embarking on brand development, marketing planning etc.
Favourite quote that helps me remember these things:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
4 Tips for getting better results from your communication.
Some of these could be small tweaks, but other things may be habits that need time to be re set – I also like to remember that:
“Life is 10% about what happens and 90% about how we deal with what happens”
1. THINK about your recipient or audience
• Who are they?
• How do they prefer or need to get the information you need to send?
Eg: Sending someone who you know prefers a phone call, a quick txt on an important issue, may not get the results or response you want
2. What is the most appropriate method to use for each scenario? Txt, Email, Phone call or in person meeting?
• TXT’s are for friends, family, quick messages like “Are you avail for a chat?” “ I’m running late” or for apt reminders or client reminders
• Pick up the PHONE, way more often.
3. When thinking about the ‘non-verbal’ communication side, ask yourself these questions:
• What are my intentions?
• What would be my most desired outcome?
• Am I being honest and authentic? True to my values?
Sincerity shows, so does a lack of it!
4. Learn the true art of REAL listening, engaging, even in short conversations.
• Focus on what they are saying – eye contact and body language
• Ask questions and listen to the answers
• Feedback and clarify
• Learn to remember their names, properly
When planning marketing, sales conversations or presentations is to always think about your audience first, it is ALL about them. What they want to hear, how they want to hear/see/feel, how you want them to feel.
And remember, we are all human’s and no matter how cool or fast technology becomes, I believe the human soul still craves real LIVE connection with other humans, it is easy to get sucked up into a world of Apps and electronic chats and messages, but nothing beats a good old fashioned coffee meeting, or phone call when it comes to creating positive ripples in our ponds.
To your success,