Communicate – “Express with WORDS”.
Communication! Whatever be the role of an individual in an organization, the ability to communicate appropriately is considered a vital ingredient.
Communication is best judged by the effect it has on others – the impact it generates and the results it achieves. Failure to communicate effectively can create stress, conflict, strained relationships, misunderstandings and problems between any two or more individuals, at home, or at work. On the other hand, effective and successful communication can result in understanding, successful business agreement, and harmonious family life, solutions to problems, increased productivity and team work.
Communication is the life blood of any meaningful relationship, personal as well as professional. Organizations keep facilitating workshops in many ways with many techniques to help their employees enhance their communication. In fact, there are way too many. Here, we would simplify things by looking at one simple technique to remember.
Communication is about how one uses words to express oneself. Let us see what words mean…
- W – Wait: the concept of ‘wait’ is very simple. It means to ‘pause’. Many times in life, we just say something instantly and the moment we say it we regret doing so. When we react towards another person, this creates a sense of negativity between the two people that can carry forward to further conversations and interactions. One profound concept to remember whilst communicating is that when one feels the urge to immediately say something, all one needs to do is to pause for a while and in that pause, think – whether to go ahead and say the same or not. In anger management, people say – count 1 to 10. If not enough, count to 20. If not, count on to 30 and beyond… the count is a start to the pause. This simple technique of waiting and thinking before saying anything helps proactively in avoiding stress for self and conflicts between people.
- O – Organize: It is said that the more organized one is within themselves, the easier it is to speak with a seamless flow. This is the concept of ‘organize’ which asks one to focus on a bit of intrapersonal communication before stepping out and doing interpersonal communication. What does this mean? Intrapersonal communication is about an individual practicing a particular conversation or rehearsing a presentation or panning a particular talk to themselves. It can be by visualizing the other person in front and practicing to say the right words so that having the actual conversation later gets easy. This ability to ‘organize’ thoughts over period of time also helps in decreasing the time of the ‘wait’.
- R – Repeat: When one is a listener in a conversation, it is a good idea for the listener to paraphrase once in a while. To paraphrase is to reproduce the other person’s statements in one’s own words so that one can clarify that the meaning understood is the same as the meaning conveyed. Before attempting to respond or reply to what the other person is saying, it is a good idea to paraphrase the other’s statements and clarify that what one has understood and is about to reply to, is actually what the other person has said. Even when someone asks us a question that appears a bit complex, before we go ahead and answer, it is a good idea to paraphrase it to confirm our understanding of the same. Between ‘wait’ and ‘repeat’, we can work towards exponentially decreasing the chances of having to say – that was not what I meant!
- D – Doubt free: Assumptions often run how many conversations proceed. In order for communication to be effective, one must ensure that one is free from all assumptions and doubts. This can be done in 2 possible ways – one is to get people to clarify your understanding of what they said, i.e. clarify your assumptions; and the 2nd is to give feedback to others so that they can realize what has been understood and not understood by you. While attempting to clarify your assumptions follow this process. Listen to the conversation. Think of what you understand from it. Separate the part that has been told and the part that has been assumed. Get yourself to doubt that assumption for a minute. Mention the assumption to the speaker and clarify whether the assumption is valid. Then proceed to respond. While being the listener, it is a good idea to give feedback to tell the speaker what you have understood so that both can be on the same platform.
- S – Simple: Many a time we use big words and words with lots of jargon that make statements difficult to comprehend. We may think that this shows superiority in language however, what it also does is that it makes communication difficult. Imagine children attempting to learn “Scintillate Scintillate Minim Asteroid”! How ridiculous that sounds! Yet it is a complex vocabulary. Instead let us look at the simple nursery rhyme “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”! So popularly known and so easy to learn! Remember that the intent is not to impress someone, rather to communicate effectively which only requires one to use simple words to just express your thoughts.
Use WORDS to express…
You have the power!
Revathi Turaga is an International Trainer & Inspirational Speaker. She can be reached at http://www.revathionline.com