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Sunday, 12 May 2013

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What do most people do, communicate or complicate?

Communicate for success

Communication in modern society has become a passion and for some, a fashion. There are organisations that teach the fundamentals of communication and offer training and skills development. But most people who are good at it are those who have mastered the art of communication through self development. It's a known fact that better communicators have an edge over the rest.

Common mistakes by business leaders and academics

Most people seem to think it's necessary to use big words, technical terms, and complicated sentences to make themselves sound knowledgeable and give an impression of being experts on a given subject, whether the listener understands or not.

Many of our local business leaders and academics often use jargon and terms that are unheard of or rarely used. As a result you compromise on the clarity and content of the message by trying to show your language proficiency.

The fastest way to put your listener to sleep or get disconnected completely, is to talk to him in a language he doesn't understand. This has become a common issue in Sri Lanka today. Sadly, this trend misleads the younger generation.

Common understanding is the key in business

A major problem of communicating, particularly in the business world is simply understanding what the other person is saying in the right context. People in companies and industries often just don't speak the same language.

I have come across lack of understanding and misinterpretations across the hierarchy even within the same company.

Lack of communication causes many operational issues which lead to under-performance. The cost of 'lack of communication' can be huge, though not measured or quantified by most organisations.

Art of communication

The most effective messages are those that reach the heart of the listener.

Emotions cause change. If you can appeal to the emotions of your listener he will become more receptive to your words.

Think in pictures and use descriptive words your listener will remember. This can influence the listener's thinking over a longer period of time. To illustrate your point, use stories that your listener can relate to or identify with. This also helps the speaker to deliver with more conviction and confidence.

The more you are able to occupy the listener's mind the greater the chances of causing the anticipated change or getting a decision in your favour. When you communicate, you want your listener to 'see' and 'hear' what you are saying.

If not the specific goal of communication at the time cannot be achieved.A message without a specific request is a wasted opportunity. If you don't ask for something specific the chances are that you will get nothing. It all comes down to one practicality you know; if you don't ask, you don't get. In communicating, to determine the 'close' that best fits with the objective of your message, simply ask yourself "What do I want from my listener?" the answer to that question should be your 'close'. It can be a demand for action or a demand for reaction.

Be careful not to emulate the wrong person

The younger generation has a habit of emulating others in everything they do. While learning from others is a good thing and a short cut to success, you need to decide on the right person to follow.

Don't be overwhelmed by the style, accent or the vocabulary used but carefully follow the content and context to ensure that it makes sense to the targeted listener.

If you want be a good communicator; be brief, simple, descriptive, relevant, powerful, emotional, persuasive and respectful to the listener. Ensure that your communication offers value to the listener and never make the listener uncomfortable or embarrassed.

 

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