Have you ever felt as though you weren’t being heard? Maybe it’s your spouse, and you don’t think they’re paying attention, or maybe it’s a coworker. In this essay, I’d like to give three suggestions for improving communication. Some may reject them as obvious, but I’m willing to guess that these are the same folks that don’t utilize them in the first place!
You’ll be more successful and persuasive when you know how to communicate effectively, and you’ll convince others to do what you want more frequently. First and foremost…
(1) Obtain their undivided attention:
You can’t communicate effectively with someone who isn’t paying attention to you. Don’t assume the other person is listening simply because you start talking!
Some folks claim to be paying attention, but they aren’t. If they’re doing anything else at the same time, they’re only going to listen to you half-heartedly, so you’ll want them to put down whatever they’re doing. I usually prefer to start by mentioning a person’s name – not in a rude or loud manner, but saying their name… it attracts attention!
Then I’ll use a “hook” phrase to draw their attention to what I’m going to say – something along the lines of…
“I have something essential to tell you that will effect you, so please give me two minutes of your entire attention.”
When they hear anything like that, most people will stop what they’re doing and listen to you!
(2) Speak to them in a language they understand:
Have you ever read corporate literature or visited corporate websites that discuss “integrating vertical solutions” and other similar topics?
The issue with “business talk” is that I don’t think it appeals to everyone. It doesn’t move, drive, or convince, after all; it simply sounds dull. Drop the “business talk” when interacting with people and communicate in words that the other person can understand, such as the daily language of our senses – notably things we all see, hear, and feel.
It also helps if you are aware of the other person’s preferences. Let’s assume you’re having a conversation with Sally. You’re aware that she participates in team sports. You may utilize the metaphor of her becoming a “team player,” which she would understand and connect to.
(3) Pay attention:
You should listen to them as much as you want them to listen to you!
This may seem self-evident, but I’ve discovered that many individuals want their speech to be heard, but they don’t genuinely listen back. It’s a two-way street when it comes to communication.
Many individuals, for example, take advantage of the time they have while the other person is speaking to consider and arrange their own answer. The issue with this is that you’re not listening to the other person fully while you’re thinking about your answer!
Furthermore, the other person may frequently pick up on this and perceive that you have stopped listening to them, which is bad since they, too, want to be heard.
Take notes if you’re scared you’ll forget something while they’re speaking. It’s a good idea to first ask the other person if they mind – something along the lines of, “Is it okay if I take notes? You could make an excellent point, and I’d want to be sure I don’t overlook it.”
Listening carefully to people indicates real concern and interest in them, and it allows you to have a greater understanding of them and their point of view.
These three communication guidelines may seem basic, but you’d be shocked how frequently they’re overlooked – when you utilize them to communicate effectively, you’ll notice that far more of your communication gets noticed and acted upon!