Uncomfortable Communication! Help to the Rescue!

There’s nothing better than great conversation that flows between you and another. This occurs when you deliver an idea and the other person can “see” the picture you’re painting. You articulate the steps to achieve your goals and your counterpart builds upon them, sometimes contributing ideas you hadn’t even thought of yet. Before you know it, the two of you have created a solid plan of action. And you’re ready for greatness.

But what happens when you generate an idea that receives little or no accolades? You’ve taken the time to research your ideas and then develop a plan to communicate them to the “powers that be.” However, the “receiver” is clearly not inspired or even close to being aligned with your thought process.

For most communicators, this is when disappointment sets in. With that can come a sense of regret for wasting time and possibly being wrong. Despite the fact that you put great energy into your ideas, the fact that they weren’t well received means they were simply no good…right?

Not necessarily.

Before you crumple up your theory and/or vision, take a step back and assess. It’s always good to review what you brought forth and it’s even more important to take some time to try to understand the personalities involved in the interaction that led to disappointment.

You see, sometimes the reason your ideas are not being well received has nothing to do with their validity. The problem might lie in the way they were communicated.

What’s the best way to determine that? Ask yourself the following questions.

  1. Did I take time to understand who I was speaking with?
  2. Did I work to align my energy to that of the other person?
  3. Did I understand their communications “style” and deliver with that in mind?
  4. Did I articulate how my idea was a win/win for everyone concerned?

Understand Your Audience

When developing your communication skills, we know it’s imperative not to try to be anyone other than who you are. Consequently, it’s important to be keenly aware of who you’re communicating with. For instance, you’d address a roomful of doctors differently than you’d address a roomful of musicians. So the next time you’re preparing for an important conversation, take some time and put yourself in the shoes of your audience and ask yourself, “What do THEY need?” As the great communicator Steven Covey reminds us, it’s always more important to seek to understand BEFORE you try to be understood yourself. So be sure to make this conversation focused more on them and less on you. If you do this, they’ll feel it. And more importantly, they’ll appreciate it. ALL people have the need to be seen and heard.

What Do THEY Need

As we know, every person on this earth is different. Some are outgoing extraverts, others more left-brained, quieter types. When preparing for an important conversation, take a moment and gauge your audience’s personality and their way of being and THEN while delivering (and working to influence), be cognizant of the amount of energy your audience emulates, depending on their personality. Then, do your best to match it. It’s imperative to be mindful of the amount of energy YOU emulate when you’re speaking. Remember you can adjust your energy simply by being present to how your audience is reacting. Are they still interested in what you’re saying? Ask them, and be sure to keep them part of the conversation. This way you can be sure that they know that, again, this conversation is NOT all about you. It’s clearly for their benefit, too!

The Greater Good

When you listen to someone speak, can you quickly determine whether or not they actually care about you; that they truly want to make your life better? That, while they may have a product or service to share with you, it’s more important that you engage or buy ONLY if you feel like it’s the right thing to do after stringent consideration? Guess what? This is the way of the world. As we move further into this decade after what has been called the “Economic Renaissance,” businesspeople are spending critical time to ensure they make wise decisions. They also want to do business with people who are truly genuine and are looking out for EVERYONE’S best interest. Yes, selling is important but, guaranteed, if you throw in a dose of humility, which is cultivated by always seeking the greater good over a quick sale, people will know you as someone they want to do business with AND someone they will want to refer to their friends.

Speak Less, Sell More

Have you noticed that much of what has been written here has more to do with quieter communications as opposed to the more verbal type? That’s the good news. As we move forth in this world, the days of the noisy, overachieving speaker are gone. Of course, it’s still important to speak clearly and intelligently but it’s MORE important to speak concisely and authentically. And the best new communication skill you can place into your toolbox is: consciousness. That means being consciously aware of yourself and your audience and how you can best serve them,   which depends on many factors, from things as simple as the time of day to how they respond to the world around them. These consciousness skills take time to understand, cultivate and measure but they are an investment into your career that has a huge ROI. Your return will indeed be in sales. Your return will also be the relationships you build and nurture for years to come.


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