Communication is a two-way street!
You open your mouth and words comes out. Sometimes it’s to express how you feel while other times you have information or want to get a point across and sometimes it’s just idle chitchat. It doesn’t matter what you have to say or who you want to say it to, you aren’t communicating unless:
1 – There is a message (“I don’t like this,” “I feel good,” “I love you,” “here’s what the research says,” etc.)
2 – You “send” that message to someone else, e.g.by talking
3 – The other person hears it. How do you know if they do?
4 – The other person gives you feedback (“what don’t you like,” “I love you too,” “where did you get that research?” etc.)
And here’s the key: you are BOTH 100% responsible for the communication. YOUR JOB is to be clear and ask for their feedback so you make sure they understand what you are saying. YOUR LISTENER is responsible for making sure s/he gets the full picture – and if s/her doesn’t, it’s his/her responsibility to ask questions so that you can both agree that you are on the same page.
Yesterday I presented this seminar to the PA Society of Medical Assistants. Here are a couple comments:
- I never knew the things that were talked about
- Excellent! I learned a lot.
- I loved learning about different types of people. All types of people can learn this!
- I’ll be better adapting to my work environment and the people I encounter
- It was really fun to learn about other communication styles
In your lifetime, effective communication can impact every aspect of your life, including how confident you are, whether people take you seriously or not, how often you get what you want, and how good your relationships are, including your marriage.
Over a career lifetime, your ability to communicate effectively can earn you as much as an additional ONE MILLION DOLLARS!! Talk about winning the lottery!
So this month, start noticing WHAT you say, HOW you say it and what kind of RESPONSE your message gets from others. This month you can take at least one step toward improving your communication with others! Get started and good luck!