COMMUNICATION – How do I communicate with influence?

What this is about:

  • Communication Is More Than Talking. It is also about effective listening. It is also about developing a shared understanding.
  • Telling the Truth… In our communication, we must seek to tell the truth.
  • …With Compassion. We must not only seek to tell the truth, but we must also do it with compassion and empathy. 

Why it matters:

  • Handling Difficult Conversations. We will be confronted with many challenging situations with others where we will be called upon to communicate with tact and empathy. 
  • Personal Reputation. How we communicate with others is often the main way that others know us. Over time, how we are perceived by others is a result of the way we handle our communication. 
  • Dissemination of Our Message. How will we influence other people? Through the skillful application of the art of communication. 

Prompts for Reflection:

  • The situations where I’m at my best in communication are…

 

  • Others would describe my communication style as…

 

  • The three situations that challenge me to speak the truth are…

 

  • The three situations that challenge me to speak with compassion are…

 

Exercises:

  • Learn Small Talk: This advice is not for the social, extroverted folks who already love small talk. This is for the introverts who find themselves surrounded by strangers at a party. There is a method to conversation that can be learned. There are plenty of books and YouTube videos out there. Pick a method that works for you. Practice. Use it as a script. Over time, you will be comfortable striking up a conversation with anyone.
  • Learn Improv: Let’s face it. Typing comments into a text box on social media is doing nothing to help your communication skills. What is the opposite of that? Speaking extemporaneously in front of another human being. A big challenge, but it will make you a much better communicator. There are plenty of improv classes held all over the country. Sign up!
  • Handling Difficult Conversations: It’s easy to chat with people you know about things you enjoy talking about. It’s hard to have the difficult conversations with, let’s say a colleague who isn’t doing his or her share of the work. Yet, these difficult conversations will make or break your relationships and career. Learn how to navigate these conversations. There are plenty of books out there about the subject. (e.g. Crucial Conversations) Read about it and understand the process. Then have those difficult conversations.

Resources:

 

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