Failure to Communicate

How effective are you in communicating with others? Are you successful in achieving your intended results or do you often fail to communicate?
We frequently hear from executives that they were ranked abysmally low in communication by their employees.  This often results in some soul searching followed by a commitment to increase the 1:1 meetings, emails missives and town halls.
Unfortunately telling people something more frequently is not the same as effective communication.  To be effective you must consider the result that you intend to achieve.
There are two parties that participate in communication, a sender and a receiver. If the sender‘s message doesn’t get received in their intended manner then effective communication doesn’t occur.
Communication isn’t telling, it’s sharing information in a way that achieves desired results. The result of effective communication may be awareness, action or understanding.
Whatever result you desire, here are three keys to improving your communication
       1. Be consistent  – inconsistent communication undermines effectiveness. Make sure that words match actions.  Make sure that messages from all parts of the organization are consistent with each other.  Whether you are a friend, a parent or a leader, consistency is critical to successful communication.
       2. Be authentic   – Authentic communication is about being self-aware, genuine and coming from the heart.  Put some of yourself into the message.  This is also known as “finding your voice.”
       3. Be relevant  – you need to send your message in a way that is relevant to the receiver.  If you want to talk to a native speaker in another country you need to speak in their language.  That’s what relevance is about.  Don’t change your message but make sure you communicate in the receiver’s language.
The fourth and final tip to communication effectiveness is to listen more than you talk.  Effective listening is the best way to overcome the failure to communicate.
Real communication is a dialogue not a monologue. If you want to talk at people instead of with them then perhaps you are better suited to standup comedy than friendship, parenting or leadership.

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