This morning I gave a short presentation on effective communication; communication that is not just noise but facilitates connection. It got me thinking about our roots – where our ideas and assumptions come from that can get in the way of communicating with people around us. The opportunity for misunderstanding, particularly when much of our communication is digital, is all too likely unless you are intentionally thinking about how you come across. When communicating your perspective, you can assume you are separated by language and culture. However, there are quite a few connecting points you may be unaware of.
I have mentioned before that I lived for a few years in Tamil Nadu, South India. What you might not know is that there are a few Hindi words that we use in English. For fun here are a few:
Bungalow – from bangla, literally house in the Bengal style
Cheetah – from chītā meaning “variegated”
Jungle – from the Sanskrit word jańgala, and later jangal in Hindi meaning “uncultivated land” or wilderness or forest
Shampoo – derived from Hindustani chāmpo (verb imperative meaning “rub!”) dating back to 1762
It is important to realise that, in order to avoid misunderstanding each other, there is more which connects us than divides us.
Going back to roots shows how true this is.
When approaching communication, think about the person you are communicating with. It is likely they will have a completely different view of the world than you.
“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Tony Robbins
- Be clear about what it is you want to communicate, what are the key things you would like the other person to understand?
- Ask questions to clarify understanding.
- Listen more than you speak.
- Reflect the other person’s language back to them as you ask questions of understanding.
- Test out important communication with a trusted person before you say it. You may think what you are saying is clear however, others may not hear it in the same way.
- Communication is only 7% about the words you say. 38% is your tone of voice and 55% is body language. To communicate effectively you need to think about how you say something and your posture, gestures, and facial expressions when you do it.
- Finally remember the point of communication is not to persuade someone else to your point of view it is to understand each other.
Communication done well, avoids all sorts of unpleasantness. It will increase your influence as a leader if those you speak to are clear on what you are saying and why you are saying it. Engage with the other person and make sure you understand their perspective.
“If I had to pick a first rule of communication – the one practice above all others that opens the door to connecting with others – it would be to look for common ground. Too often people see communication as the process of transmitting massive amounts of information to other people. But that’s the wrong picture. Communication is a journey. The more that people have in common, the better the chance that they can take that journey together.” John Maxwell
The art of communicating well can be leant, and in today’s world leaders need to know how to do this. I am offering a complimentary assessment to clarify your voice and how you can best communicate. If you want to take advantage of this offer, then click here and book a 30-minute call with me. I look forward to hearing from you.