The individual inspiration required to create effective human interaction within our relationships is reflected in the frequent description, the art of communication. Marital communication is a bit like seasoned dance partners moving gracefully in response to their partner’s movements – after years of enduring and avoiding the pain of stepping on toes. Parent-child communication seems to develop from loving sovereign and subject to teacher-student to every type of evolved effort to survive or sever or strengthen their mutually desired relationship.
So the lifelong journey required to maintain effective communication might more accurately be called a conservatory, where artistic discovery is personalized by each learner, instead of an institution where standardized content is delivered to the masses. Our customized curriculum, gathered randomly or with purpose, polishes our efforts to explain, inspire, entertain, or influence.
Where do we start when creating a strategy for this continued education? From thousands of resources, you will choose help in meeting the diverse needs of your professional relationships, audiences and situations. Here are some considerations as you matriculate your continued education.
Look for tools and practice opportunities that help you strengthen effective 2-way communication; dialog in many arenas has deteriorated into competition. Seek tactics that help you learn to keep others engaged, that lower walls raised during conversation, and that bridge language or culture differences. Learn to solicit input with curiosity, direct questions and collaborative efforts graciously, and recap for clarification humbly… while maintaining a safe and honest environment.
Clear, clinical, direct communication has a significant role in execution of work within and between our now global organizations. Learn to use tools that ensure scores of individuals instantly know who needs to do what and when, that ensure clarity of responsibility level and expectations, that ensure changes are documented and available immediately around the world. But also, be sure every human that must receive that communication knows how to use those tools!
Be curious about new methods, systems and tools that are being used by professionals in other fields of expertise. As technology changes and global interaction grows and languages and generations bridge, people change the way they work together. There is no excuse for using stagnant ideas and methods that make group interaction more difficult than it needs to be.
Some communication tactics will always be the best choice: a hug, a hand-written sentiment, sincere praise, a story…. But even these, we must evaluate in reference to the receiver. Ensure you know how to adjust them for the situation and confirm they are appreciated and accepted with understanding.
Your opportunities to sharpen effective communication will never end. Keep searching, keep stretching, keep saying it, keep showing it. And if you need a sounding board to test your new skills or ideas, give us a call!