How good are you at this?
Recently, when talking about communication, one of my clients piped up and said that for her, it’s not about communication but about effective communication. I LOVED that. She is so right, it’s an important distinction.
Think about recent communication misses that you have experienced, those are the opposite of effective communication. The times when you know or thought your colleague, client, friend or partner heard you, received and read that text or email, or understood exactly what you were saying… BUT THEY DIDN’T.
Communication misses happen every day. We’re in a rush or preoccupied with something. Recently I sent out an email to six managers to confirm a meeting time, and got an email back that read: “CST or EST?” I was embarrassed. I wasted my client’s time (all six of them), and added unnecessary emails into their overflowing inboxes. Some tips to minimize communication misses are: slow down, be fully present and truly listen.
“When you talk you are repeating what you already know. But if you
listen, you may learn something new.“
Worth the Share
Listening is such an important skill. We can probably ALL get better at it.
Here is a short article from Angela Duckworth, one of my favorite authors and a teacher at UPenn. She finds she spews a “hydrant of facts” at her students when she is teaching, trying to share every possible idea related to a topic.
Her insight? Ask “authentic questions” so that she can listen to her students and hear from them. “The more we can let them (students) unmute themselves, express themselves, and actively engage rather than passively receive, the better.”
Actively engage versus passively receive. It’s the engagement that matters. Authentic questions, according to the author, are questions for which their is no simple answer. They stretch you.
Whether you are teaching students, managing a team or talking with colleagues, ask questions like “how has that impacted you?”, “what do you think about X?” or “what else?” to learn from others. Then, really listen to what they have to say.
As summer winds down, we are still faced with the never ending pandemic and tragedies around the world. Are you feeling worn down by it all? If so, are you listening to your body and giving it what it needs as we go back to school and ramp up for Q3 and Q4? What have you done for yourself this summer?
If you can’t think of anything, there are still a few days left. Commit to taking a day off to do something you’ve wanted to do or simply do nothing at all! Maybe start a new healthy habit such as 10 minutes of daily meditation or exercising for 30-minutes a day. We can very easily be ground down, do something to lift yourself up!like them to do
Continue growing. Ask for feedback.
Happy end of summer,