Summer Olympic Games are on, but you and I have our game faces on every day as we work to get our message over the noise of the crowds and through the hurtles along our way.
Will you make it to your personal finish line?
It’s a perfect time for us to discuss how you leap over the barriers to communication success while the world converges for the 2012 Olympics to the source of the English language.
Communication, however, is more than the actual words and phrases of any language. Its success hinges on some very universal and human connections. You can see it as a team sport with everyone having an opportunity and a role to make the game goals happen.
Right at the start line you should know there’s an energy challenge. You, as the sender of the message must devote enough energy to push your message positively to its goal. The receiver must take enough energy to hear, understand and process the message. Trends show that only 50% of your message will get through.
Previous columns have covered some of the communication skills you need to ensure that your message gets through more of the time.
1. Make a good impression
2. Be clear about who you are and most especially what you want
3. Be aware of your body language and what your conversation partner is wordlessly saying too
4. Listen actively
Keep the communication channels open. You are wise to do this because you increase the chances of your message being both heard and received favorably.
Here are some training tips to help you keep your eye on the prize:
Your message will be most successful in getting through if you keep the communication channels open.
Allow time and space in a conversation for your partner to shine.
If they tell a story, listen and appreciate it.
If you try to “do one better” you may detract from their positive, proud and possibly vulnerable sense about what they shared and therefore close off communication good will and rapport.
Give the gift of your presence.
Your full attention on the topic, at that time and on your conversation partner will make all the difference in how engaged both of you will be.
Honour the finish line.
Close the communication loop so that there is a definite end to your interaction, at a natural and respectful point.
Say thank you at the conclusion of an interaction as the simplest as well as considerate form of closure. You might also add appreciation on lessons learned or insights shared in the time someone has given you.
If you’ve gone off track somewhere with your communications, look back at your pattern. Were you genuinely engaged? Did you come to the conversation with a sense of purpose? Did you remain open to listening and appreciating what your conversation partner wanted to express?
Go over each step and see if you were able to meet and leap over the barriers to communication.
It starts with your attitude and preparedness, but also depends on how clear you are about your needs and how receptive you are to listening and understanding what the other person is really saying to you in words and body language.
VIP Practice your communication skills often and you too will take your place on the podium, and you’ll be invited back for future contact. People may not remember what you said but they’ll always remember how you made them feel.