Sometimes we wonder, “Why something we communicated, didn’t reach the way I intended it to reach?”… Sounds familiar?
Communication is an important aspect of human existence and wellbeing, in that sense it is a sacred exchange between and amongst individuals. Communication has three important elements.
Truth is based on Factual data and resource sharing. If ‘Truth’ is shared as truth without the data and resource, we do not provide the other party a glimpse of how this truth could have been different if they had a view of it. This process of not sharing data or resource can cause much confusion, mistrust and power distance.
Being clear on Why are you communicating, What you are communicating and what you may achieve by communicating that? is crucial. Also the ‘How?’ of communication is extremely important. In today’s super fast world where everyone just is trying to survive another day, communicating and getting done with it quickly, can become a way of being. Communications in such a scenario can become haphazard and extremely noisy.
Communication needs space, it needs time for all parties involved. However in the modern world of quick fixes, there is very little time to create that space, hence it is even more important that we design our communication very crisply with intention at its core. Communication, which doesn’t have space or clarity of intention can lead to manipulation or feeling of being manipulated.
Three Traits to develop to become good in communication:
Honest Empathy: Ability to be in others shoe from their position not from yours.
Vulnerability: Ability to be vulnerable and sharing the vulnerability of not knowing.
Closing and forward action: Ability to close the conversation and discuss any forward actions that you would like to put mutually and follow through.
Let us try to ground the above elements and traits through some introspective questions to self:
Close your eyes and remember the last communication that you did, which you believe went well and achieved its goals.
What do you believe worked for you?
What helped you achieve the clarity?
Now close your eyes and remember the last communication that you did, which you believe didn’t go well and did not achieve its goals.
What went wrong?
What was missing?
Once you have completed this exercise on looking at your communication, you will probably notice a pattern that works for you and that doesn’t work for you.
Well! congratulations!!! now you know, what you don’t know, and thus can start on a journey of building the muscle that needs more practice.
Let us look at 7 skills of communication:
- Weaving the communication : Facts and intention
- Maturing the communication: Patience and holding
- Timing the communication: Right time, not soon and not late
- Rendering the communication: Scripting it
- Sensing impact: Presence
- Opening space for dialogue: Check and question
- Closing with forward actions: What needs to be done next?
I know this seems like a long list but once you have practiced this, it becomes a way of your being and communicating. It will all happen in a split second just like when you learn to drive it takes time to get to the gears but once you know driving it is body memory. All human skills are built that way. You choose what you want to learn and then you learn and practice till it becomes a part of you.