There are many checklists for good communication. They all have good ideas.
But there is one secret to great communication that is usually forgotten. This secret will put you above others in your organization. It is simple to understand. The reason it is secret is because most people don’t want to apply it.
The secret to great communication is to focus on the other person.
Most of the time we focus on ourselves when communicating – the message you want to deliver, using the right words, and getting the facts out.
Put the spotlight on the other person – not on you! Give 100% of your attention to the other person. Don’t think of what your response to their comments will be. Don’t look at your phone or computer. Focus all of your mind on them.
Start the communication with building the relationship. Ask about the person’s life outside of work. Get to know them as a full person. Know how comfortable the person is with talking about non-work topics. Some cultures demand at least 30 minutes of talking about life before “getting down to business.”
Listen to what they are saying, how they are saying it, and also what is not being said. Listen fully – concentrate. Listen with your eyes and your ears. Look at their body language and see if it is congruent with their words. Listen to the emotion in their voice. Try to read between the lines and hear what’s not being said.
When you are listening look for the truth in what they are saying, not for the faults. We usually concentrate on being right. For great communication, listen to what they are saying, not try to prove yourself right.
Put yourself in their shoes. Empathize. Try to imagine how this person is feeling as they are in the conversation with you. What might they feel, want, or fear?
Be comfortable with feelings. Expect feelings to arise. Treat them like the weather – they are there but don’t try to control them.
My coaching clients & I usually discuss communication because it is an important part about being a great leader. Do you want to free telephone call to discuss the secret to great communication? Valerie.MacLeod@HainesCentre.com