Think about a recent conversation you’ve engaged in or email you sent out today and ask yourself and important question:
Was I simply spewing out information to get my thoughts into the world, to defend my position, to show the other party how brilliant I am, to share how much I understand about the topic?
Or was I completely focused on the receiver of my message, their particular style of communicating, their number one problem that is keeping them up at night? Did I address their unique nuances and distinct commutation patterns? Did I pay attention to past interactions I’ve had with that individual and how did I use that information to connect with them this time?
In leadership, this is a valuable question to ask yourself on a consistent basis because it seems in our world we are starting to confuse the action of communicating with the actual interaction that we hope to achieve with our communication.
If you are honest with yourself, when someone else chooses to communicate with you in a transactional manner such as – I need this, or give me that- I am right and you are wrong –Where is this, why haven’t I seen that-
Or you feel as though the other party is talking at you vs. speaking with you, how do you feel about that particular act of communication?
My guess is probably not very good. Now think about the long-term impact of this check-the- box style of communication. What happens to the relationships we hope to build or maintain both professionally and personally as a result of simply going through the “action” of communicating to other person as opposed to creating a meaningful interaction.
Of course every conversation or email doesn’t have to be a deep and meaningful discussion, but we are creatures of habit and if we aren’t mindful of these habits, particularly around communication, then it’s easy to fall into this trap of meaningless communication.
Here’s the thing. In your business and in your life you can do or say all the right things, check all the right boxes, and go through the motions with the actions of communicating and that’s all good. But if you fail to think about what it’s like to be on the other side of a conversation or email from you, if you aren’t thinking in terms of how you are perceived in that moment, if you are simply trying to get in a get out of the communication transaction all the time. Well guess what…
NO one will even care.
This week think about your most important relationships in both your business and your life and look for opportunities to create meaningful interactions that build and drive the relationship in the direction you would like for it to go.
Start making your actions around communicating, true interactions and see where that leads.
Cheers to your and your interactions
One Quarter Turn at a Time
Thoughts for the week:
Communication to a relationship is like oxygen is to life. without it, it dies. – Tony Gaskins
Information and communication are often used interchangeably but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out- Communication is getting through. -Sidney Harris
A relationship without communication is just two people. -Unknown
Communication is the bridge between confusion and clarity. -Nat Turner