By far, the most common complaint I have come across in client firms for years now is “we have poor communication”.

 

How can this be when we are all constantly communicating? The truth is, what we are actually doing is continuing the practice of self-focused, me-first communication. Not productive, 2-way communication for learning, growth & understanding. This is fine for “us” but does little for them (everyone else).

 

The way to change this is to learn (yes, learn) and then practice, Active listening. Too frequently we listen to respond rather than listening to understand. There is a gigantic difference. The problem: almost immediately we actually stop listening to the other party in a conversation & start forming our argument; either for or against. The communication breaks down instantly, when it doesn’t have to.

 

Frank Portnoy, in his excellent book, Wait, the Art and Science of Delay (https://goo.gl/RrwY7m), talks about waiting that fraction of a second (milliseconds) before responding in a conversation in order to process the information. Then, and only then, replying appropriately.

 

This can make the difference between a typical (non-value-added) retort & a well thought out response that brings the conversation forward. Great leaders take that extra few milliseconds to really listen to what is said & how, before providing their response.

 

Since roughly only 7% of communication is the words said, a great leader not only listens actively, but also observes the other person’s:

  • Tone of Voice
  • Pitch
  • Pace
  • Eye Contact
  • Body Position
  • Gestures
  • Facial Expression

 

Therein lies the majority of the critical communication. All great leaders recognize this.

 

Want a more in-depth explanation of these last 7 points? Give me a call & let’s talk about the benefits to you of 1 of our interactive communications workshops.

 

Tell me what you think.

How can Build It Backwards help you to develop into a better leader? Contact me at DanielFeiman@BuildItBackwards.com

 

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