Effective Communication that Get Results
Effective Communication Strategies that Get Results Of all the things people struggle with in business and in life, communication skills top the list. Communication breakdowns are the root cause of...
Effective Communication Strategies that Get Results
Of all the things people struggle with in business and in life, communication skills top the list. Communication breakdowns are the root cause of business disputes, marital problems, and even familial challenges. The key to overcoming communication challenges is to learn the principles of Communicating with Impact.
1. Use “I-Statements” rather than “You-Statements.”
Throughout school and life we’re taught to speak with “you-statements.” Teachers and other professionals continually tell us to speak and write directly to the other person, and to use “you” often. However, when you’re communicating with impact, you need to abandon that thinking and focus on the “I” rather than the “you.” Compare the following:
· “You always interrupt my stories!” (Aggressive)
· “I would like to tell my stories without interruption.” (Direct)
· “You embarrassed me in front of all those people.” (Aggressive)
· “I felt embarrassed when others heard the story of the mistake I made at work.” (Direct)
By focusing on “I-Statements” rather than “You-Statements” you take the blame off the person and focus it on the behavior.
2. Use factual descriptions instead of judgments or exaggerations.
Too often, people are afraid to be definitive. They use vague descriptions to hide behind their words and not be held accountable. But when you’re vague, you confuse people, which leads to communication problems. Therefore, always be specific when giving feedback. Compare the following:
· “This is sloppy work.” (Aggressive)
· “The punctuation in the report needs work. The headings are spaced inconsistently.” (Direct)
· “If you don’t change your attitude about coming to work late, you’re going to be in real trouble.” (Aggressive)
· “I will place any tardy person on a 2 day suspension without pay if he or she continues to arrive after 8:00 a.m.” (Direct)
The more detailed your statements, the more understanding and agreement you create, which keeps communication challenges from surfacing.
3. Express thoughts, feelings, and opinions reflecting ownership.
Stop blaming others for your thoughts, feelings, and opinions. You own those thoughts, feelings, and opinions, so you need to take ownership of them. The more you hide your thoughts behind the actions of others, the longer it will take for people to understand your point of view. Compare the following:
· “He makes me angry” (Denies ownership of feelings)
· “I get angry when he breaks his promises” (Direct)
· “Don’t you think we should table this for now?” (Indirect, denies ownership)
· “Tabling this question would allow us time to gather more data.” (Direct)
Communicating with Impact Leads to Communication Success
Continuing to use unhelpful words will reinforce old habits and interfere with your being direct. You can increase your success rate and improve relationships by Communicating with Impact.