How to Build Your Communication Quotient
How well do you adapt to different listeners and audiences? How well to you negotiate and resolve challenges, problems and conflicts? Do you excel at building horizontal and vertical communication? Are you able to turn conflict around, re-establish trust, re-build and build stronger relationships?
Communication is the linchpin for personal development, growth, organizational development, engagement, performance and sales growth; and today, building your communication quotient means learning how to develop a bridge between social, digital, cross generational and cross cultural divides.
Yes, 21st century success means building a new set of communication skills that help you leap forward, help you learn forward, and help you collaborate and lead forward with actual and virtual constituents.
A new set of communication skills that help you leap forward, help you learn forward, and help you collaborate and lead forward with actual and virtual constituents.
Step One: Awareness
Stop thinking about what you want. Refocus. Who are you communicating with? What are the common objectives and values you share? What do THEY want from your communication? I know this sounds simple, but when our emotions get involved (and they do), simple goes out the window and is replaced by the automatic fight or flight response that jeopardizes effective communication. Pause, reflect and search for information, for clues that tell you what your audience/listener wants and of equal importance, the common objectives and values you share. The words you use and the statements you make count. Trust, transparency and the ability to always underscore common objectives and values must punctuate whatever you say.
Step Two: Interest
Listen more, talk less. You cannot light a fire with wet wood. Gaining the interest of your audience/listener means listening to what they are really saying by hearing, seeing and feeling. Make sure you mirror back what they say for confirmation, or alternatively, if addressing an audience, ask questions to evoke answers that not only peak interest but develop a relationship bridge – a common thread between your values/objectives and theirs.
Step Three: Desire
As the communicator, one of your goals is to light a fire, a fire of desire; desire to build a relationship. Nothing is achieved alone. Effective communication is critical. You can lead a horse to water, you can force someone to do what you are saying, pay lip service to what you are communicating, but the results you achieve will be short term gain and long term pain. What is not built upon shared objectives and values will ultimately crash and burn.
Trust, transparency and the ability to always underscore common objectives and values must punctuate whatever you say.
Step Four: Action
Action is not reaction, rather it is a thoughtful response that drives the relationship forward, or alternatively terminates a relationship where values and objectives are not aligned in the best way for all. Take control of your communication by focusing on what counts. Do not let the plethora of information before you create communication corrosion. Re-focus on the information that is critical to the realization of shared values and objectives. Your brain, our brains are idiot savants that seek out what our mind focuses them on.
Daily In-office Tips To Build Your Communication Quotient
Tip One: Develop Communication and Collaboration. Actively solicit input, build transparency of communication by seeking input from not only team members but employees at the front lines of your organization. Find new ways, better ways to strengthen your presence, your brand – the shared objectives/values you and your people cherish by taking the time to get involved.
Tip Two: Empower Others. Validate. Take time each day to notice and point out how your team members and employees are contributing to the overall plan, how there work, their input is critical to shared success.
Tip Three: Don’t Run Away From Tough Questions or Conflict. Address tough questions rather than running or hiding from them. Tough questions and conflict need to be answered and addressed in a way that refocuses yourself and others on shared values and objectives, on your ability to turn challenges and problems into the focus and collaboration that drives solutions.
Leadership is a commitment to empower, enable and actualize the power of others
Tip Four: Respond, do not react. Build your 3Q Edge™ developmental skills like constructive discontent, so that you will not be influenced by the auto-matic fight or flight response that derides effective communication because you have learned to circumvent it.
Tip Five: Walk your talk. Sustainable success is built upon shared values and objectives, is the end product of relationships of trust, demands leadership that can be trusted, and is modeled and counted upon during the good times and bad.
Leadership is a commitment to empower, enable and actualize the power of others; doing so means developing a communication playbook that opens the heads, hearts and minds.
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