The truth is that communication is such a detailed topic, I could write a book about it. In fact, others have already beaten me to it. Today, I will cover just a few facets in hope I can help your communications become more communicable.
I am reminded of a scene from Cool Hand Luke when the Warden says to a fallen Paul Newman, “What we have here is failure to communicate.” Failing to communicate has become a national concern. But I beg to differ… somewhat. I believe we all have the ability to communicate, but where we fail is establishing the correct environment “to communicate.”
There are a few things you can do to help your cause.
- Make a sincere effort to capture the person’s attention prior to delivering your message.
- Create the right environment conducive to the importance of your message.
- Speak deliberately and use words your audience can easily understand.
- Stay on point. Preferably just one.
- Solicit feedback and respond accordingly.
Successful communication involves a sender and a receiver. For successful communication to take place, each participant is required to assume both roles.
Here are a few more tips:
- To capture initial attention, enter the conversation the person is already having with himself or herself. We all talk to ourselves all day long. Trying to “barge in” on this self-talk is an exercise in futility. Enter and then segue.
- Look the person you are speaking with in the eye and allow them to complete their current thought.
- Pause before adding to the conversation.
The sad truth is that most people are preparing their next train of thought while the other person is speaking. They are just waiting for an opening to chime in with their pearls of wisdom. This is not communication. This is one-upsmanship. You see this happening all the time when two or more people gather in conversation.
And I suppose there is one more salient piece of advice I can leave you with today. Don’t bore people to tears by dragging your point on. Believe me, your experiences are more interesting to you. To borrow from the professional salesman’s mantra:
BE BRIGHT; BE BRIEF; BE GONE.
Mike Marchev is always looking for a few more proactive travel professionals to join his Sales and Marketing Club. Send for details.