This video shows you why it’s so important to align intention and impact when communicating with others, and the easy steps you can take to achieve this.
- How you want to come across to others may not be how you actually come across. Have you ever had that moment where you realize how you intended to come across to someone else was completely misinterpreted? It can give you that feeling of embarrassment, or guilt, or even shame. I know I've been in that situation. And more often than not, it's because I was so caught up in saying the right thing I forgot to relax and focus on building a positive connection with the other person.
All too often we focus on what we say and the exact message we want others to understand. But the impact we make is more about how someone else perceives us and our message and less about the facts we want other people to grasp. Effective communication skills and strong relationships are built on creating impact, not planning how to communicate an exact message.
Being adaptable and flexible in how you communicate with others is key. This is why it's essential you don't focus on the exact message, but more on the intention. What you want the other person to take away from your interaction. Consider a sales manager, managing a large team of sales consultants. There will be key messages that everyone has to know. Facts, figures, targets, marketing information. Some of this information will need to be documented for clarity and legal reasons.
But the majority of these messages are delivered, reinforced informally. One sales consultant may respond to a one to one briefing. Another may prefer an email exchange or an informal chat over a coffee. The biggest tip I can give you here is rather than focusing on exactly what to say before each interaction focus on the key messages. This will make each interaction more focused and you'll be adaptable enough to change your communication style, depending on the circumstance, and the person you're communicating with.
If people understand your intentions, even if the execution isn't quite right they're much more likely to listen and engage with you. And you have a greater chance of building trust. Which is a critical part of managing relationships. Focusing on intent provides you with a number of advantages. It can boost your confidence, as you'll understand it doesn't matter exactly how you deliver the message, people will connect with the intent behind it.
It will give you the ability to be flexible in your approach relieving some of the pressure associated with crafting that perfect message delivery. You'll also come across as natural and authentic which is a huge bonus when connecting with people. The key is to think about the other person's perspective. How the other person perceives you. And remember, effective communication is about the message received by the other person, not the message you want to give.
Think to yourself what do I want the other person to take away from this interaction? And when you're clear on that, match your tone and language, and body language to help communicate that message. How can you apply this to your working life? Where are the opportunities to focus on intent and key messages rather than exact lines of communication. Take some time to consider how you can build this technique into your professional interaction with others.
LinkedIn Learning (Lynda.com) is a PMI Registered Education Provider. This course qualifies for professional development units (PDUs). To view the activity and PDU details for this course, click here.
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- What is emotional intelligence?
- Watching for triggers and hijacks
- Finding flow
- Disrupting thinking
- Reclaiming reaction time
- Shifting perspective
- Listening and communicating
- Playing to strengths
- Collecting feedback
- Aligning intention and impact