The Power of Communication
The Power of Communication
By Janette Searle
The Playground CPM Ltd - from the Playground Whispers
For the past few weeks I've been working with my clients on a range of fascinating projects, all really quite distinct and different from each other, but all with a common element - communication and the need for really clear honest and open communication.
There are two major elements of communication that I have learnt and I've got a sudden urge to share them, so I'm not going to fight it.
1 - We all communication differently!
Every one of us has a preferred way of communicating and sometimes its down to just preference but some there seems to be a physical element to this as well. Our brains are fabulous things but how we recieve and process information is different.
Some of us are 'texters'. I don't mean just mobile phone texting, but the preference for seeing, reading, writing text in order to really understand things. I'm a bit like that myself. If I write it down I'll remember it, if I need clarity on something I'll write write write write.
Some of use a 'vocalists'. We need to speak and consolidate our understanding of things by talking about them. We need to hear something or have someone say it to us in order for our brains to receive the message. Ever sat next to someone at work or in uni who constantly repeated what they were being told, or talked while they were reading - in fact they never shut up? Chances are they're a 'vocalist'.
Then there are the 'touchies'. Those that need physical contact in order to actually engage their ears and hear what you're saying. Without physical contact they hear the first three words and then go to their happy place or start working on their response to you in their head.
Finally there are the visuals - bit like the texters, the need to see what is being said, have the message in a visual form in order to understand it.
Now imagine the level of frustration you have when you get a group of people who all communicate differently and have different requirements in order to hear and understand the message. Kind of enough to make my laughter get extremely high pitched. But that is often what you get. And if you are working with a team, or more importantly leading a team, you really need to understand how the members of your team communicate. It will save you from having the vessel in your temple burst - trust me!
This leads me on to my next point.
2- Its up to the person sending the message to make sure its understood, not the person trying to receive it.
If you want someone to hear you, you have to make sure you're communicating in a way they will understand. Best option often is to communicate your message in a number of ways. So for example, after a face to face meeting, back it up with an email so you have the verbal, visual and texter covered. If you're pitching for work use and many elements of communication as you can (and as are appropriate). We've just pitched for some online video work and included text, visual, audio and moving image - but then its highly appropriate for that one. I've also dealt with a rather tense situation this past week of long running miscommunication because the two people involved simply didn't communicate in the same way and didn't realise. Both thought they were being clear and open in what they were trying to convey but the messages were lost between both of them. The result, two very angry people who have now parted professional ways. Such a shame.
Point is, if you can work out how the person you're trying to reach communicates then tailor your message to suit you'll go a long way to ensuring peace and harmony and smiles. :-)
Posted: Tuesday 15 February 2011