Fine-tuning your communication for success

July 9, 2015

“The tendency to react to any emotionally meaningful statement by forming an evaluation from our own perspective is the major barrier to interpersonal communication.

CARL ROGERS

This is a statement which has helped shape my perspective on communicating effectively, particularly when it comes to engaging in difficult conversations.

It describes a certain kind of selflessness required as a recipient of information, putting one’s self in the others proverbial shoes to try to understand what was intended and meant.

Recently I hosted a workshop on various communication styles and it struck me how easy it is for people to lapse back into a comfort zone of habits. Continually engaging in meaningful interpersonal communication requires deliberate and constant fine tuning.

Here are two recommendations to keep your effective communication fine tuned:

The learning is a journey

Giving and receiving information – we’ve been doing it our entire lives. Interestingly, the fundamentals are not taught often enough and there is much about written and verbal communication that can be learned and improved. Active listening, social cues, body language, tone and cultural nuances are just the beginning.

Continuous learning to communicate more effectively can support more than just your professional interactions – it will assist in personal life and relationships.

Comfort is the nemesis of growth

As your relationships grows with individuals, stakeholder groups and audiences, it can be common to arrive at an interpersonal communication style and relationship management that is comfortable. This comfort can be a mirage though.

People change, circumstances in their lives change, the general surroundings and business landscape changes – it’s important to adjust to the differences even while you settle into your own patterns. Familiarity with your regular stakeholders still takes work.

Keep learning and growing!