The quality of communication is how it is received. Not on what you think you said or shared.
When we communicate, everything is based on the perception of the receiver. You must be able to articulate your thoughts in a practical manner. When you do this, others can truly receive an understanding of what the content of your message is. Communicating your thoughts and ideas effectively are critical to life’s success.
Many studies show that nonverbal cues in communication are weighted as much if not more than the verbal cues. For example, one study shows that 7% of communication is in the words we use (verbiage); 38% is voice tone (tonality); 55% is body language (physiology). Another study shows that nonverbal or physiological cues are 60% (facial and body language). In turn, the vocal cues (verbiage and tone) are 40%. (see article in Psychology Today). So even in the professional realm of communication studies – who is right? That is for you to decide, and your answer will likely be subjective and based on what your experience and perception of communication is anyway, right?
Here are a few tips for effective communication:
- Learn to be concise – You do not need a long description of what you want or want for your outcome. You should try to be able to articulate the WHAT you want to be done in one to two sentences. You can always describe the HOW in a longer fashion.
- Share facts, not opinions – Items should be able to be checked and confirmed. If it cannot be confirmed, then likely it’s your opinion or perception. While an opinion may be more fun or “juicier” to share, this does not always provide the most solid foundation for communication, as other peoples opinions may differ from yours.
- Be prepared and direct – It is important that you are prepared and you know your stuff. If someone has questions, you should be immediate and not hesitate with a response. This portion ties in with sharing the facts. When you know the facts, you can quickly and effectively respond to questions and other peoples opinions. This can be supportive or dispell inaccurate information.
One way to be certain that others have a clear understanding of what you are wanting to communicate, is to ask them. “Okay, can you repeat to me what you got out of that?” OR “What did you hear me say/ask?” You must be genuine when asking these questions and not patronize the other person. If you are genuine, this can be especially effective when you are leading or coaching others in a business environment.
It’s important for YOU too!
Communication doesn’t only extend to the outside world. It’s also the inner dialogue that you have with yourself. It’s what you say to you.. and how you say it. After all, most of us are harder on ourselves than we would ever allow someone else to be with us. When you are having that inner monologue, you may often be working against yourself. You only have a split second to change your communication, and when you do you can often accomplish much more than you ever may have imagined. So as far as inner communication – be kind to yourself, be motivational, and be forgiving.
The better that you communicate with others and with yourself, the further you will be able to go in business. Tony Robbins said, “The quality of your life, is the quality of your communication!” So spend the time to become great at communicating and make a great life!