In this video, Gemma shows you the key steps to building effective communication skills to build collaborative and strong relationships.
- Communication is about getting your message across to others, right? Well, actually that's only half of the story. And quite honestly, if that's all you focus on when developing your communication skills, you're missing a trick. Often, when we think about communicating, we consider how we can make our point effectively, and how others are going to interpret what we're saying. Communication, however, is a two-way street which involves providing information for others and gathering information from others.
Let's consider how you communicate your message. You may do this through speaking, or writing, but actually most of what we communicate is down to our body language and how we say something, not what we say. Have you ever had a conversation with someone who's told you they're fine? But you can tell from their tone of voice, or body language that just isn't true it all. How we communicate with our voice and our bodies says a lot more about the actual message we want to get across, rather than the exact words we use.
So, think about that. Most of what you communicate is probably unconscious. If you're not focused on your body language, and tone of voice, or tone of writing, then your message may not come across as you would like it to. And here's the key point, your unconscious communication will be driven by your thoughts, your feelings, emotions, and mood. This is one of the reasons why it's so important to look inwards before considering how you interact with others when you're developing your emotional intelligence.
The key to effective communication is listening. Yes, you will have a point of view, a message that you want to get across, but if you want to build effective and strong relationships, you also need to really listen to messages from the other person, and that includes words, tone, and body language. It can be really easy to fall into the trap of focusing on your point, particularly if the stakes are high or you're in a pressurized environment, but this is a missed opportunity.
If you listen and interpret the other person's message, you're much more likely to find strong middle ground that you can both work with, building a collaborative and respectful relationship. You're also more likely to find solutions when facing challenges, and you may actually discover another way of looking at the situation which you hadn't thought of, a new and useful alternative perspective that you can use again. Communication should be a process of information flowing equally between two parties.
Remember, there's a difference between actually hearing what someone's saying and just not talking. Take some time to reflect on your communication style. Do you list intently to others and really hear what they're saying? Are there times where you listen more than others? If so, when and why? And what can you do to become a better listener? If you're unsure of how well you communicate, the best way to gain an insight is to gather feedback from others.
Ask for opinions from colleagues or friends on how well you listen and how effectively you get your message across.
- 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