If you just communicate, you can get by. But if you communicate skillfully, you can work miracles. ~ Jim Rohn
In the first part of the post, we spoke to you about how communication is not only a medium of transfer for information, but also emotion and how the way you communicate could affect your own process of learning. You may consciously or sub-consciously decide to block some information coming your way just because you are in a hurry to respond and not really understand. Here is going forward with the post and talking a little more about the subtleties of good communication skills, which are easy to overlook.
The three P’s of communication
- The PURPOSE, of the communication you’re going to undertake.
- The PLAN that is designed to achieve the purpose.
- The PRIORITY of actions, the things in the plan that need to be done and in what order.
While trying to communicate a certain matter or issue, if you focus 80% of your efforts towards the purpose, the plan and the priority tasks, then your communication will be productive and will move the organization forward. However, if you waste your time talking about things that are not about the purpose, the plan or the priorities, then you will be unwittingly sabotaging your own productivity.
Paraphrase your views
The goal of communication is complete only when you’ve understood what the other person is trying to tell you. If you want to show that you have really understood someone, then paraphrasing is a great method to do so. All you do is repeat to someone what they have just said, before you comment or pronounce your own judgement upon what you just heard. That way you will have an edge to process the information you have just received, not leaving any room for miscommunication. Here’s an example: “So ‘X’, what I’m hearing is that results are the number one objective for you right now and we need to find some fast solutions for you?” This can be done while you’re verbally communicating or replying in a written format.
Don’t finish other people’s sentences
If you think that by completing other’s sentences you are doing them a favor, you are wrong. Research has shown by doing so, you intentionally disempower the other person because you are taking control of the conversation, so bite your tongue! Never speak out of your turn unless it is an open discussion, even if you’re trying to communicate ideas about a group project. During a brainstorming meet always decide and distribute the communication of ideas among your partner(s). This gives a more clarified image and also helps your audience retain their concentration. If you’re part of the audience always wait till the other person has finished and you’ve collected all the right information, before hurrying for a response. It is worthwhile to repeat what we stressed upon in our previous post, that it is important to listen with an intention to understand and not respond!
These are the very basics you must be conscious of, in order to hone your communication skills. However, in order to proactively do so, you must practice your verbal skills on a daily basis. Some ways to do so is by not shying away from conversation, expressing yourself regardless of the fear that you may fumble and also to read a lot, especially newspapers, or at the very least the editorials of newspapers. Good communication skills – spoken or written can open doors you never even thought existed. That is some food for thought. 🙂