Communicating is an art, but how can we understand communication and how can we be more effective? Simply put, if we think we are communicating and we are not convinced we have made a true human connection with a real person – we have wasted our time.
A human connection – what do I mean? We live in a connected world and we are almost constantly communicating with people or at least we think they are real people. Communication is only effective when it has meaning to someone, and we can only be sure when we have had feedback from the people we assume we are communicating with.
How do we know if people heard us and if we achieved a Human Connection?
- Who were you communicating with? If your answer is them – who are they? If you assume you are communicating with someone, there is a good chance you are communicating with nobody. If, however, you are thinking about a particular person you know or may not know personally, but someone in particular – yes, it may be your mother in law, your best friend, your arch rival or even your partner – as long as you are communicating with someone in mind, you may find relevance with others. Remember you are looking for a human connection, you need to go beyond the facts.
- Have you used emotion in your communication or was it just factual? Emotional communication is powerful and factual communication is extremely weak, but you get to choose. Remember to ask yourself how you would communicate and be effective with the person you have in mind.
- Do you understand the person you are communicating with? Have you listened to them, what do they need or have you simply decided to tell them? Are you being over emotional? Have you given enough facts? Are you prepared to continue listening? As mentioned earlier this is the Art of Communication, you are constantly creating a masterpiece, not a sketch.
- Remember it is vital that communication should be kept as short as possible, and always get feedback. Imagine the problems you will have if you tell your mother-in-law everything you need to tell her all at once, and imagine if you had to listen to all she wanted to say to you at once. Don’t you need to think like a medical professional, you need to put a drip in first before you can get your ideas in? At the same time they could be trying to get a drip into you, so it can become messy. Slowly and carefully is always best.
Communication is a challenge, I hope that the ideas I have shared with you help and I look forward to hearing your comments and ideas for being effective.