How do you know when you’re an effective communicator? It’s simple:
The meaning of communication is the results you get.
There are people who believe that what they say is more important than what people understood from it. If that’s the case, then might as well talk to a wall… because you won’t be talking to communicate but to hear yourself talk.
Seems like common sense, doesn’t it? But it’s not so common when you’re in a heated argument, in a rush or preoccupied either by your own thoughts and actions, or by your own motives (what you want out of it).
Very often, we expect people to understand exactly what we want and what we mean. One word can mean something to me and mean something completely different to you. Have you ever hit a wall when trying to communicate? When someone gets frustrated, sometimes they revert to blaming and shaming: “you just don’t get it! I said it 5 different times!”
First, communication is only 7% of what you say; 38% of it is your tonality and 55% your body language. There are a lot of debates about the exact numbers, so don’t get hung up on them.
Communication is not just what you said and how you said it; the most important part is the goal of your communication: how the person receives it and what they do with it once it’s received. It doesn’t matter if you think that you’ve effectively communicated; if the desired outcome hasn’t been reached, then you’ve failed in your communication.
So when hitting a wall, the first question to ask yourself should always be “how can I say this differently in order to get my message across?”
If someone is hung up on a word you used instead of the entire message, maybe that word is a trigger for them and needs to be substituted; sometimes it might mean changing your tone of voice or your body language. It ALWAYS means observing THEIR words, tone and body language to know if they’re getting it. And it always means listening to what they say in order to understand, not just to give a response back. Communicating with love will always be more effective than communicating with fear which can show up in other forms like anger or pride.
To your success,