To understand how to effectively communication in the workplace, you have to first understand some basic psychological truths about how we, as people, tend to communicate.
If we communicate to a person in the way they understand best, that communication will be accepted and the team member will respond faster and with more motivation. There are three types of communicators. The first are the Visuals, those people that take in and process information through their eyes. They also prefer to think, or rather visualize with their mind’s eye. To be effective with them, you need to use key words such as “look, see, picture,” etc. It is also valuable to give them printed or written materials to go along with what it is you are communicating. They prefer words that enable them to picture things.
The second type are Auditory communicators, these people use their hearing to develop understanding. They talk to themselves in words that their minds can listen to. They like words that help them hear things. When talking with them, use key words like “hearing, listening, sound,” etc. These people tend to process information quickly and are sometimes likely to respond before you have finished talking.
Kinesthetic, the third type, are feeling people. It doesn’t matter how things look or sound to them, it needs to feel right (not necessarily good). Still, others imagine things in terms of movement, feeling and action. The famous scientist Einstein used this kinesthetic type of thinking when he formulated his famous theory of relativity.
Listen to how your team member communicates, they will use the key words for their type in normal conversation. After you have discovered how they communicate, speak with them in the same manner. It will greatly enhance your interactions.
To gain maximum interest, remember people are most interested in anything that has to do with them. This isn’t egotistical - it’s natural. Once you understand this, you can tailor your communications so that you receive maximum interest.
BE AWARE OF NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATIONS
Our senses shape our thinking. We remember and think about things as we saw, heard, or felt them. Some individuals and cultures stress one kind of thinking more than others do, though all cultures use all of them at one time or another.
You may not be sending the message you intend when dealing across cultures. You may be misinterpreting the sender’s message because of cultural differences. It is important to be aware of mixed messages and not make assumptions about the meaning of non-verbal communications.
Many people believe that when they speak, their words are the primary transporters of their thoughts. That’s just not the case. Become aware of nonverbal messages to harness your communication power.
DON’T LOSE IT
This final tip is one of the most powerful things you should NOT do. If you get angry, you lose. When you “lose it” in front of team members, their confidence is shaken and your credibility is undermined. If you start to get over-excited, take 20 minutes to cool off and then reconvene your meeting. It may help you to remember this quote by Thomas Jefferson; “Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain cool and unruffled under all circumstances.”
Dr. Barton Goldsmith is a keynote speaker, business consultant and author. Considered an expert on small business, he has spoken to audiences worldwide. He may be contacted through his web site BartonGoldsmith.com or at (818) 879-9996.
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