Are They Listening? Are You?
When it comes to business communication, the perception of the listeners is what counts. How effective is your communication? Take a look at this checklist for business communication and persuasive success based on business c0ommunication expert Dianna Booher's new book "What MORE Can I Say?" 1. Trust by the listeners is essential. Do you generate trust with your optimism, confidence and competence? 2. Collaboration is a fundamental leadership skill. Statements imply that you intend to control interactions. Questions suggest collaboration. Be known for the questions you ask, not the answers you give. 3. Simplicity helps listeners focus and produces clarity. We don’t trust what we don’t understand. Build an intuitive, simple path to your answer. 4. Choose your words with care. Don’t turn people off with biases or tasteless, tactless phrases. Are your own words the best, or might you eliminate sensitive implications by quoting some other person of influence? 5. Consider the allure of potential. For those seeking career advancement or motivation, what may be gained in the future could be more enticing than immediate payoffs. What shining possibilities can you offer? 6. Less is often more. Reduce presentation length. Avoid packing too much information in. Allow listeners to walk away with a single, powerful impression. 7. Aim too broadly and you miss all targets. Use specifics to help listeners know you’re your message relates to them personally. 8. Emotion will often trump logic, but it’s rarely the other way around. Recognize and calm emotional reactions, especially fear. Realize your hearers may need your logical explanations to support emotional decisions they’ve already reached. 9. Lead with empathy. Hold off disclosing your perspective until you’ve actively listened to what’s being said, and just as importantly, not said. What are the gaps between perception and reality? How might you bridge them for your listeners? Are you listening to your listeners? Are you crafting your communication to build trust, invite collaboration and create understanding? Success in personal communication starts with empathy, care and practice.