44. Improve Your Effectiveness In Communicating
Improve Your Effectiveness In Communicating
In this short video, I discuss how you can improve your effectiveness in communicating using EQ as a framework. I provide simple practical steps any leader can take with practice and discipline.
Improve Your Effectiveness In Communicating
Hi, and welcome back again to Beyond the Numbers and our leadership series of videos. The question I often get asked when I'm interacting with leaders is, how do I improve my communication? And that's like how long's a piece of string?
There are so many different ways of approaching this. But in the earlier videos, we've talked about things like emotional intelligence and asking the right questions and different tactics like that. So here's another series of three-step type solutions to what you're asking. So to improve our effectiveness when communicating, here are three simple steps that I find are really helpful. And something that we can convey to others too and which will actually benefit their communications as well as our own.
1. Self Manage: Talk Less, Listen More
So the first one is, if you think back to the emotional intelligence video from earlier, you'll realise that self manage is one of the real benefits that you get from establishing, growing, and building, if you like, your own emotional intelligence. So one of the things that comes here to self manage is talk less. One of the things that we find when we're interacting with leaders and we're talking with team members and trying to understand things is, we say far too much. Just set the context and start asking questions. So talk less and listen more. Hugely powerful, underestimated tactic to improve communication. We don't wanna talk at people, we wanna talk with people and we wanna listen.
2. Self Awareness: Power of Silence
And that leads into another really powerful technique and it's under self-awareness. It's the willingness to say it's okay to have silence in a conversation. If you're asking a team member to explain how they're gonna go about a task or if you're asking them to describe what actually happened in a situation, often it's the first chance that the person that you're interacting with is actually had to start thinking about, how do I respond to this? You know, and they're also got their filters working, so they're thinking, what's my agenda as the leader, what am I trying to, am I trying to get them to commit to something, etc, etc. So often all that fog is in the way of effective communication.
So when you frame your question and set that question before the person, allow them some processing time. A lot of our workforce are reflectors by nature and they're very good at what they do and they need some silence to process the question and then respond in a meaningful way. So I always say, learn to bite your tongue. I mean I've got scars, I can prove that I've perfected that art to some degree, but constantly learning and improving. So the power of silence, if you're even been in talking to people in counselling and coaching, you'll find that often the real gems come out of the conversation when there's been a period of silence. And silence for us nowadays, in our modern world, is anything more than a few seconds is excruciating silence. But, sometimes, silence can go on for 30 or 40 seconds. The longer it is, it doesn't matter. Just hang in there, and you'll be surprised what comes out of it. So practice that skill.
Talk less, listen more and utilise the power of silence by biting your tongue.
3. Social Awareness: Interpret the whole message within the social context
The third one is that social awareness component. And that, again, is one of those things that comes from the development of your emotional intelligence. And this is interpret the whole message within the social context. So, people are really impacted heavily by what's going on around them and they respond and do things based on the cultural norms. And we've talked about that in the past. So what you're looking for by talking less and listening more by using the power of silence, is to establish at a deep level, what is, what are they really telling me?
The words that they're using, the tone they use, that the physicality of how they sit there and interact with you, what's that whole message telling you within that social business context? So if they're under extreme pressure, they will be influenced that and you have to have that awareness, okay. They're gonna respond under pressure by just feeling this interaction as now more pressure.
So by just giving them some time, talking less, and listening more, you'll relax them and allow them to get their message out there. And then smart leaders go back and clarify by saying, so I understand you were saying this, A, B, C, and D, is that correct? And that's that check process that we're very poor at doing, too.
Bring those three things together, and you'll effectively improve your communication, and you'll see the benefits by far in everything you do. So wish you well in your success and we'll catch up with you in the next series.