Communication is a crucial aspect of life and leadership, yet it is something that can easily fall apart if not done properly. It can be a powerful tool that opens doors or a terrible setback that locks them forever. Communication is not just verbal, as nonverbal cues make up 90% of communication. Therefore, it is important to understand that communication is not just about what we say, but also how we say it.
I will share three takeaways for great communication that I have learned through my life experiences and leadership journeys. These takeaways will help you become a better communicator, whether it be with friends, family members, coworkers, and anyone else you may come in contact with.
Key #1: Listen First
The first key to great communication is to listen first. This applies to everyone, no matter where you are in life. To be a better communicator, it is important to be quick to listen and slow to speak. When trying to communicate with someone, let them talk first. If they are not engaging, ask a question based on or around their interest, not necessarily yours. Listen with the intention of adding to the conversation, not just waiting to speak so that it becomes your turn to talk.
Being a good listener makes you someone that people are willing to talk to, which can help you become a better leader, friend, or significant other. By helping others through active listening, they can then help more people, creating a cycle of communication that can benefit everyone involved.
Key #2: Relationship Capital
The second takeaway for great communication is to build capital in the relationship. Building a friendship or relationship with someone can help you earn the right to help them when they are going through a difficult time. When you care about those that you are leading, they are more likely to listen to you and take your advice. If you want to help someone going through a difficult time, it is important to build that relationship with them first.
Building relationships takes time, effort, and commitment. It involves being there for someone when they need you, showing authenticity, and being a good listener. By building strong relationships, you can become a better communicator, person, and leader to help others when they need it the most.
Key #3: Clarify and Confirm
The third takeaway for great communication is to clarify and confirm. One of the worst things about communication is when you think you have resolved a problem, only to find out that the other person did not understand what you were saying. To avoid misunderstandings, it is important to clarify and confirm what the other person is saying.
When communicating with someone, take the time to clarify what they are saying by repeating it back to them in your own words. This will help ensure that you have understood them correctly. Once you have clarified what they are saying, confirm that you have understood them by asking questions or summarizing what they have said. This will help avoid misunderstandings and ensure that both parties are on the same page.
Communication is a crucial aspect of life and leadership. To be a better communicator, it is important to listen first, build relationship capital, and clarify and confirm what the other person is saying. By following these takeaways, you can become a better communicator and help others when they need it the most. Remember, communication is not just about what we say, but also how we say it. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to nonverbal cues and to be mindful of the impact that our words can have on others.
"People don't care how much we know until they know how much we care" -Teddy Roosevelt