Not so long ago or so far away, the Queen had an epic failure of communication. There are spells to make princesses sleep and princes turn to beasts but none to stop a queen from talking when she should be listening.
I need a spell to fix it. I didn’t mean it. I meant to say all the things I would want to hear in that situation. What I forgot was every person needs something different in the exact same situation. I’m a facts person, I want to know it all and be prepared for the worse. That way, when we have a small fire and not an explosion I’m calm because I was prepared for Armageddon! Some people need to ease into it and others get it all and don’t talk about it. Did I mention I’m a talker? I talk all the scenarios and all the situations to death. I’m prepared for each outcome. That’s great for those who communicate like me. But everyone’s not like me (the King would say thank goodness). Sometimes the thinker, the calm, the quiet or the scared don’t want to hear my worst case scenario approach. I have to come up with a spell to stop myself!
“The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.” ― Peter Drucker
How do you that?!?! How do you make sure that you are using the right style with the right person? BE QUIET AND LISTEN. How are they approaching the situation? Are they quietly researching? Are they retreating? Are they getting quieter the more YOU talk? Pay attention to the non-verbal cues too. If they are looking away, crossing their arms, fidgeting with materials or checking their phone, you have lost them. Stop yourself and regroup.
“The key to receiving messages effectively is listening. Listening is a combination of hearing what another person says and psychological involvement with the person who is talking. Listening requires more than hearing words. It requires a desire to understand another human being, an attitude of respect and acceptance, and a willingness to open one’s mind to try and see things from another’s point of view”- Rod Windle and Suzanne Warren
Sometimes we tell the same person the same thing and they never get it. Maybe it’s because we are telling them in the wrong way! It’s important to recognize how ideas are presented. Are you shouting? Are you asserting your power (because I said so..) or blaming (YOU don’t seem to get this or YOU need to do this…)? Are you overloading them with information?
When discussing an issue, take the time to listen. Give the other person your full attention. Reflect back what they are saying and summarize what you think THEY feel are the issues. Ask questions to clarify their needs not about what you need. If you take the time to fully understand the other point of view, you will have a better idea of how to approach it. If your co-worker just ignores your request for information. Instead of saying “I’ve asked you for this repeatedly, I need it today”. You can instead say “I really need the information we discussed, is there something you need from me to finish that project?” This gives them an opportunity to discuss any issues they may be having.
We are all busy these days, we need to take a step back and listen to the people around us. I know you would feel better if people just listened to you (I would)! I promise, it will help communication in the long run! If you’re not listening, definitely Don’t Bite the Apple…It could be poison!
What communication issues have you had recently? How did you solve them?