Boost your communication
Updated: Jul 10, 2021
Communication is key or you have to be a great communicator. That’s what they say, right? At least, it seems to be a buzz phrase that feels kind of overused these days. Don’t you think so?
Why is it then, that almost all the time (well, that’s what it feels like) you seem to end up misunderstanding someone or something? And when this happens it’s almost all the time second to nature that you either give in because you do realise you are wrong or you keep on going on, defending your point of view - at all costs. What is the issue here? First, let’s pause right here for a moment. Give yourself a break. Yes, we do life in a fast world but that does not necessary mean that you have to communicate in the exact same speed. It’s called sender and receiver for a reason. Imagine, you find yourself in such exciting yet tricky situation (what I mean is a conversational situation with someone else), try this: First, listen to the end and get an idea of what it is the other person was trying to say. Take you time. Did you really get all what was actually said? And did you and your conversational partner have the same understanding of any content shared? Second, and in case you are not absolutely sure - buy yourself some time. Yes, you hear right. It’s all about time here. In case you did not fully understand, simply ask for how things were meant or repeat what it is that you understood and see if you got it right. You will know immediately if not, trust me. Third, keep asking until you have a clear understanding of what is going on and how to best possibly reply. Quite complex isn’t it? Oh yes. So, what is it then that can help to improve your skills here? Correct, it’s true. Speaking is silver, silence is golden. Or how some very smart individual once said: “Try to understand before trying to be understood.” If I could share one constant learning (up to this very day) you can improve your “communication success rate” significantly by simply trying to understand what was said and meant first. Try to understand both what was said, how it was said, what wasn’t said and how everything fits into the bigger picture, aka the context (of the individual that is talking to you). When you apply the above you will see that you will start asking further question to really understand instead of just firing away. Unfortunately, reality proves you otherwise. What happens instead is while you could ask more, understand further and clarify certain meanings (aka key-words) you do filter anything you are receiving through your own "internal filter" and simply reply or send your thoughts back. Have you ever realised this? So, the sender - receiver relation mutates into a sender - sender situation. And that is not a deal breaker but truly not ideal either. If you have a chance, next time you are having a conversation, try it. Ask more, check in on certain key-words you pick up or simply ask “what do you mean, in case something is not clear to you?” Sure, there is way more to it, but you have to start somewhere. I promise, it won’t hurt and it will definitely benefit both of you. What do you think?