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  • Writer's pictureKathy Sazama

Great communication = Great success

Last month I talked about confidence. I will continue to build on our need to have confidence in all we do. This month I will discuss communication and how important it is to have effective communication skills. We truly are communicating all the time. Through all of our senses we are receiving and giving messages. We need skills to speak well but also skills to interact effectively.

"Good communication is like playing ping pong. Back and forth listening, learning, understanding, and clarifying as needed.”

Things that hinder communication: 

Steven Covey states “Most of us don’t listen with the intent to understand. We listen with the intent to reply”.

Fear impacts our communication. I often hear clients tell me “I care what other people think of me”, and “I don’t mean to be offensive”. We don’t mean to be offensive. Unfortunately, we can be so careful about what we say that we lose what needs to be stated. Anxiety and worry holds us back.

Listening can be difficult because it requires you to be focused and engaged. In a time when cell phones and other distractions are constantly going, it takes away our concentration. Our brain is on alert for the “ding” of the phone to let you know a message is in.

Research studies are showing that daily stress can cause ones IQ to drop about 10 points because the brain is in fight-or-flight mode. In addition, studies are reporting that this kind of stress is impacting the prefrontal cortex of the brain. The part of the brain that is involved with decision making, planning, impulse control and complex thought.

We all have a need to be liked and respected. When we don’t get feedback to support that, we wonder what is wrong with us. Immediately assuming something is not okay with you. It can leave you feeling inadequate, stupid, or unimportant.

Here are my tips for being a good communicator:

* Read the book How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. A classic that has been around since the 1930’s. My mentor suggests reading it every year.

* Leave the cell phone behind unless it is needed for the meeting you are attending.

* Join Toastmasters to improve your speaking skills and confidence.

* Prepare. Educate yourself on the subject. Getting you’re appearance and behavior of your authentic image brings it together.

* Don't be reactive. Take time to listen and ask questions. Feeling heard and listening can make a big difference.

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