Why do we have so much strife going on in our world today? Personally, I believe it is due to the lack of effective communication. In fact, effective communication is probably the root cause of all major conflicts.
What is effective communication?
According to businessdictionary.com, effective communications is defined as “A two way information sharing process which involves one party sending a message that is easily understood by the receiving party”.
When we cannot hear what a person is saying, generally it is because of the roadblock that has occurred while sending the message. Roadblocks prevent the message from being transmitted to the listener. They further obstruct the receivers view of what is really meant by what the messenger said and the message sent. Therefore, you may hear the receiver say, “WHAT DID YOU SAY!” or, “WHAT DID YOU MEAN BY THAT?”
Are we speaking of environmental roadblocks or noises? Yes to both. Additional noises could further include differences in culture, gender, ethnicity, religion or none, and different generational influences, etc. Those roadblocks can be both external and internal differences, which could informally affect how we communicate our views to others.
Joel Garfinkle, recognized as one of the top 50 coaches in the U.S and the author of seven books; has identified seven steps of effective communications. According to Garfinkle:
- Stay on Message: Be clear on exactly what ideas you are trying to express
- Make It a Two-Way Conversation: Try to really hear and understand where others are coming from. Pay special attention not just to what they are saying, but to what isn’t being said.
- Making Sense of It all: Always ask yourself, “Does what I’m saying make sense? Does the feedback I’m receiving make sense? What is the perspective they are trying to get across?
- You’re Responsible for Any Failure to Communicate: Remember, as the primary communicator you are 100% responsible for the other person’s understanding of the communication.
- Can You Hear Them Now? Do you really hear what others are saying? Really listening requires your full attention and being able to feed back to them exactly what you have heard them say.
- Repetition, Repetition: An equally effective way to make sure others understand exactly what you are communicating is to ask them to repeat back their interpretation of what has been said or asked of them.
- Respect Your Audience as You Respect Yourself: To be a clear and effective communicator, you must first recognize that your message is not just about you or what you want. It’s about “what’s in it for the audience
“To effectively communicate, we must realize we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to the way we communicate to others.” Tony Robbins