One of the things that I often hear from people frustrated in work or personal relationships, is that there is a lack of quality communication in the relationship. If we want to develop stronger relationships with others then it’s good to check out how we are communicating. Good communication is:
Clear. Do people have a puzzled look on their faces when you speak to them? One big source of unnecessary stress is communication that isn’t clear, or is it?!
Consistent. It’s great to keep people in the loop on a continual basis. Don’t save it all up for the monthly report: communicate to people regularly and naturally.
Concise. People will switch off if you waffle on and on. Get to the point and keep others engaged in what you are saying.
Honest. Good news is easy to share, whereas when things are not so good, leaders can find that there is a pressure and expectation on them to keep it positive. Just be honest and real. People will appreciate it and respect you for it. Also, if you stretch or distort the truth, people won’t really know when you are being honest or just spinning another yarn. Mistrust derails communication.
Open. Communication involves more than a transfer of information, as it should also contain our feelings, thoughts and responses. Even if you are not really into “warm and fuzzies” the others around you may be and may need to hear how you are feeling and for you to take on board how they are feeling.
Appropriate. Some people never disclose personal information, whereas others will give all the sordid details to anyone willing to listen. The level of disclosure should be related to the type of relationship we have with the other person. Be sensitive to their needs.
Influencing but not manipulative. There is a big difference between communicating something passionately with the view of influencing others and using communication as a tool for manipulating them.
“HUA” – Heard, Understood and Acknowledged. It’s great to get some feedback that what you have been saying has actually registered with others. Don’t assume that people have heard and understood what you said or even read the email or report that you sent them.