The Missing Piece of the Communication Puzzle
The importance of communication is undeniable. It is clear that to be an effective leader, parent or businessperson, we must ensure we are communicating our vision, desires and goals. Although we may be in agreement about the need for this, we may not all approach it in the same way. I have found that not all communication is created equally.
Do you talk “at” or speak “with” others? Are you expressing yourself clearly and concisely? Do you know if those you are communicating with are listening?
Sometimes we believe we are being communicative only to find we were misunderstood. We say one thing but something else is heard. Our thoughts seem clear but what comes thru verbally is not. Our needs make sense to us, but to others they are unclear. We express ourselves openly and yet are met with disconnect.
Personally, I accept that this is a work in progress. In order to express myself clearly and improve how I communicate, I must first understand my intentions. If I am not clear with myself as to my motives & desires, then even when I am “communicating”, I am not doing it effectively.
To be the person, coach and entrepreneur I want to be, I have to be an effective communicator. Not merely express myself well.
The skills I find are most significant for effective and clear communication are being fully present, being concise with our words, feeling confident, speaking from the heart, being empathetic, having an open-mind and being respectful.
Even when all the skills are present, however, there is still one significant and imperative piece of the communication puzzle. That piece is Active Listening. Communication is not a one-sided conversation. It has to be a two-way street.
We must ensure that in order to be heard, we listen. We must ensure that those we are communicating with are also active participants; fully present, willing and open to listen in return.
Do you listen deeply without formulating a response? Try it, and notice if the quality and clarity around your communication shifts or improves.