Each of us is 100% unique, even twins or triplets. While their DNA may be remarkably the same, they’re not absolute clones of each other. There will still be a few variables that will make them unique, even if they look remarkably similar. So what about the rest of us? We’re all different, from our DNA to our physical size, skin color, background … everything.
And yet we too often act as though how we see the world is the way everyone does. We use terms we understand, we write as we would want to see it, and we’re often surprised to find out that someone else “misunderstood” us when we thought we were being so clear!
I’m sure most of us can remember at least one time – either in a personal or professional area – when we were misunderstood or we didn’t understand someone else. Did we lay blame on the other person, certain that we couldn’t have made such an error? Did we take it upon ourselves to straighten things out? Did we take the time to learn from it or just move on?
Success wears many hats, and one of them is clear communication – clear to the sender and the receiver. If we can’t be clear, we can get a reputation for being difficult to deal with, and who needs that?
Here are three ways to strengthen your communication skills, which will give you more of the results you want, and help you look and sound like someone others want to be around.
1. Use this version of the KISS acronym
Keep it short and simple. Many of us prefer to use “utilize” rather than “use,” but there’s no need to do that, especially in business writing. We don’t need to be a walking version of a thesaurus. Simple, easily understood language works best in most cases.
2. Be clear about your timeframes
Steer clear of terms like “soon,” “later,” or especially ASAP. That acronym (as soon as possible) has led to many unexpected results. Your thought may be “by tomorrow at 5,” but the other person’s might be “when I get to it.” Without clarity, there could be a tough conversation later about why something was done late or too quickly.
As an example: Recently a group received this message: “If we didn’t already send the new policy out to everyone, we need to do it asap!”
The person in charge of sending stuff out did just that within an hour. But the intent of the note was only to find out if we had already sent the policy out. If we hadn’t, we would then do so with a note explaining why it was being sent out now.
“Communication is power. Those who have mastered its effective use can change their own experience of the world and the world’s experience of them. All behaviour and feelings find in their original roots ini some form of communication.” – Tony Robbins
3. Reinforce the wanted behavior
Many of us have heard others (maybe ourselves?) say: Don’t forget to … do whatever. But how many times has the person hearing it promptly done just that? Forgotten to do it? And yet, they were actually doing exactly what they heard, which was the wrong verb. Verbs are powerful words, often indicating action, and our brain responds to them very well, even if incorrectly in some cases.
Years ago, I heard a young woman at a swimming pool do something I thought was remarkable. Her kids, along with several others, were running around as kids do – which is a dangerous thing at a swimming pool – and instead of saying “Kids! Stop running!” she called out, “Kids! Walk slowly, please!”
The result? The kids stopped as though they’d hit a wall. They walked. Of course, being kids, they also finally started running again. And each time, she repeated in a friendly voice, “Kids! Remember to walk!” I was astonished, so I asked her about what she’d said. She told me she was a grade school teacher, and she’d learned over time that telling kids what not to do reinforced them doing just that: what she didn’t want! Ending her request with a verb that was the opposite of what she was asking was doing immense harm. Saying “Don’t run!” actually caused the kids to continue running most of the time.
She learned to focus on the result she wanted – telling them to sit, or read, or line up for recess – whatever she was looking for, and it worked. The other upside to this is that no one felt accused of being about to do the wrong thing. The minute we say “Don’t forget to send out the memo,” our voice may well sound accusatory, especially if this is a typical issue. And even if our voice is steady, it’s entirely possible the listener may think, “What! Does she really need to tell me that? When have I ever forgotten?”
Airline personnel are experts in knowing to never say “Don’t panic!” when something scary happens like suddenly dropping several hundred feet, because it would plant the very seed they do not want. So they focus on the positives, on the needed results, helping the passengers stay calmer than they might otherwise be able to. They use the right language.
“All passengers, please return to your seats. Please buckle your seatbelt and remain seated. Be sure to put on your own mask before helping others.” All positive and constructive language. Of course, the passengers may still be scared, but the language is at least not making that scary experience worse for most. We do what we’re told; we don’t have to even think about it.
Clear communication is both an art and a skill, and over the years, I’ve found that remembering at least these three ideas has allowed me to build stronger and more positive bonds between myself and others.
How to Organize Your Digital Space for the New Year
Every new year brings with it a fresh start and a new set of resolutions. One new year’s resolution you can make that will help set you up for success is to maintain an organized workspace all year long. Much like you should keep your physical workspace clean and clutter free, you should also do the same for your digital work space. (more…)
How to Live Like a Millionaire Without Being One
You don’t have to look far to find people who seem to be living the high life. In both social and traditional media, the affluent lifestyle appears to be more the rule than the exception. While not always truthful, it’s part of the posturing that takes place in our rabidly consumer-driven society. (more…)
3 Ways to Overcome Impostor Syndrome
Imagine you’re the head of a $250 million company. Sounds great, right? Except you’re challenged with your level of success. In fact, your anxiety is so overwhelming that you walk out of an exclusive CEO event to talk to your executive coach. Without that support, you wouldn’t be able to return to a room filled with other leaders — most of whom aren’t running businesses worth nearly as much as yours. (more…)
4 Lessons I’ve Learned From Sending 3 Million Emails
As an entrepreneur, the heart of your business lies in your email marketing efforts. Sixty-four percent of small businesses use email marketing to reach their customers. Each year this percent will grow because email marketing can turn a fledgling business into the leader of the pack. What you do with those emails matters. Whether you’re a branding coach that helps newly service-based women or you’re like me – an expert content freelancer helping others learn to make a business online –at the end of your email marketing efforts, you’ll hopefully come away with lessons for improvement. I learned these lessons from sending three million emails. (more…)
39 Neymar Quotes to Motivate You Throughout Your Day
Sadhguru: How Our Life Is the Result of Our Actions
4 Crucial Life Lessons Rich Dad, Poor Dad Taught Me
25 Inspirational Michael Bublé Quotes to Brighten Your Day
Here’s How Your Relationships Determines Your Happiness
55 Inspirational Quotes That Will Change Your Life
(Images) 52 Motivational Picture Quotes For An Epic Year Of Success
30 Famous Quotes That Will Inspire Success In You
40 Rare Motivational and Inspirational Picture Quotes
72 Positive Thinking Quotes For More Inner Strength & Growth
3 Prince EA Videos To Change Humanities Path To Greatness
(Video) What Is Success? An Entrepreneurial Story To Inspire You
(Inspirational Video) What If Today You Knew You Were Going To Take Your Last Breath?
How To Make Enough Money From A Blog To Quit Your Job – Kate McKibbin
How Finding Your Passion And Becoming An Entrepreneur Can Lead To Happiness – Chiquita Searle
Life3 weeks ago
5 Things You Should Do Differently in the New Year
Success Advice3 weeks ago
7 Ways To Write New Years Resolutions And Stick To Them
Life3 weeks ago
The Only 5 Tips You Need to Live a Better & Struggle-Free Life in 2022
Life3 weeks ago
6 Simple Ways to Practice Self-Care More in 2022
Life3 weeks ago
5 Ways to Ditch the Resolution in 2022 and Create the Solution
Quotes3 weeks ago
The 50 Unforgettable Betty White Quotes For Inspiration
Success Advice4 weeks ago
How to Help Your Child Succeed in Life: 7 Tips From a Psychologist
Entrepreneurs4 weeks ago
5 Things You Need to Master to Become a Successful Entrepreneur