Communicate Like You Mean It
Communication is the most important aspect of being human. Being able to express yourself authentically to others in a public or private setting helps us connect and create relationships. Knowing what you want to and need to say is half the battle and being able to communicate like you mean it gets the point you are trying to make is the other half.
I want to share an article with you that Connie Ragen Green wrote on the topic of communication. It’s called “Clear Communication – Can You Hear Me Now?”
“Clear communication is at the root of every human interaction. It’s about listening to others and hearing their message loud and clear. Whether you work as a rocket scientist, an entrepreneur, or a classroom teacher communication will be at the heart of everything you do. If you are a parent, an employee, or an employer you may have experienced firsthand what it’s like to have misunderstandings based on miscommunication. Every relationship on the planet relies on clear communications, whether these are through writing, speaking, or both.”
The question you want to begin with is:
“Are you happy with your current level of communication skills?” If you’ve answered yes, then you may stop reading right now. But, if you’ve answered no (which is more likely the case), then please keep reading to learn more about my five tips for crafting and delivering information in a clear and concise manner.
#1 Choose an appropriate topic.
If you are speaking on behalf of yourself or your company, then make sure to choose the best possible topic and lead with that as you begin. If you want to make a point with your family members, position your topic in a way that will allow for an open discussion once you’ve made your relevant points. The crucial thing here would be to focus on what you know best. By this I mean you want to share your perspective on your topic in a way that gets your feelings and beliefs across, while not being judgmental or opinionated. Provide examples of how you see the topic playing out over time so that it’s a win-win.
#2 Know your audience.
The way you would communicate with your employees, your boss, or people you serve with on the board of a non-profit organization would differ from how you communicate with your spouse or young children. This is based on your relationships with each person and the goals you have in mind when you begin speaking or writing to get your ideas across in a way that will be effective. It’s critical that you understand your audience and what they are wanting and expecting to hear. If you fail to deliver the right information, or fail to deliver your information in the right way – you’ll leave your audience cold and unimpressed. This is where persuasion comes into the clear communication process,
but we will leave that discussion for another day.
#3 Hone in on your key message.
Determine in advance what it is that you want and need to communicate to the other person or people involved. Only go into as much detail as is warranted by the situation. If you want to communicate to your employee a new method of checking in inventory and passing information along to the next department, you do not need to explain in detail the accounting process involved and the steps used in production of the final product. It isn’t necessary and may lead to confusion or miscommunication. Stick to “just the facts” and everyone will benefit.
#4 Make your content engaging as you communicate.
Tell stories. I learned how to do this effectively as a classroom teacher and carried it over to my real estate business. This allowed me to make my points and to enroll my listeners as I explained important concepts and ideas. Scientific research has shown that the brains of people reading or listening to stories are more engaged and stimulated than when they simply hear hard facts, so we know storytelling works for clear communication. Stories help us to learn new things and to enjoy the magic and mystery of the world. When it comes to delivering captivating presentations, make sure you have plenty of relevant stories to tell.
#5 Provide solutions as you write or speak.
If you want to inspire action, you must deliver solutions during your presentations. If you don’t you are asking for trouble, because your audience will draw their own conclusions that may be out of congruence with what you were attempting to convey to them. Whatever you are being asked to communicate, look for ways to embed practical tips those listening to or reading from you can easily remember and adopt.
Here’s what communications expert Clay Morgan has to say in this post on Bridging Your Communication Gaps:
“Communication is a bridge. Life is an ongoing series of communication, and communication is a bridge.
We stand on one side with all the information we want our audience to know, whether it’s how to do something or who we are or how
fabulous our products and services are. We build one bridge after the next in a never-ending series of communication construction projects.”
Action Steps: Think about how you best communicate with others. What are your strengths? What are areas in which you could improve? Do you prefer to communicate in person, in writing, or in some other way? What can you do to improve the clarity of your communication with others?
About the Author
I am Kathy Denise Hicks, Author, Personal Trainer, and Corrective Exercise Specialist and I would love to connect with you to help you achieve your fitness and health goals. Correcting muscular imbalances can really help you feel better, look younger and be happier. If you are looking to get moving, feel more energy, get out of pain, and lose a few pounds, I have a program that can help. My 14 Day Workout Trial, will give you an idea of the classes I offer.