Want to Be More Effective in Your Communications? Try This!

Want to Be More Effective in Your Communications? Try This!

Studies have repeatedly shown effective interpersonal changes depend on effective communication. But the word “communication” has multiple interpretations. Therefore, it should be broken down into several key components. To assist you in considering the effectiveness of your own communication, review the ten pairs in the following list and select the one term in each pair that you value more highly. In making your selection, ask, “Which of the two am I more likely to use?” or even “Which of the two would I rather use?”

I would rather communicate by …
1. a) arranging information chronologically b) putting the most exciting information first
2. a) using comforting words b) offering radical, dramatic, challenging thoughts
3. a) supplying familiar terms b) exploring unknown possibilities
4. a) stressing a simple set of relationships b) acknowledging the many possible cultures
5. a) forming strategic and new alliances b) doing what is expected
6. a) expressing myself logically b) including multiple, sometimes even contradictory ideas
7. a) using statistics b) using personal experiences / accounts
8. a) including data relevant to the task b) bringing in information from a variety of sources
9. a) Narrowing the scope b) extending the known boundaries
10. a) considering possible skepticism b) attending to credibility issues

Before we offer recommendations, there is one thing worth noting: the contingency factor. Given the complexities of circumstances, individuals, and goals, any one of these twenty items might be appropriate. Wise use is contingent upon sensitivity to the needs of the moment. Various circumstances demand flexibility from us; to readily repeated on the same communication tools is to minimize your effectiveness. But speaking in a general sense, certain elements in the communication process are effective no matter what the circumstances.

You'll find those asterisked in the list that follows.
1. a) arranging information chronologically b) putting the most exciting information first
2. a) using comforting words b) offering radical, dramatic, challenging thoughts
3. a) supplying familiar terms b) exploring unknown possibilities
4. a) stressing a simple set of relationships ** b) acknowledging the many possible cultures
5. ** a) forming strategic and new alliances b) doing what is expected
6. a) expressing myself logically ** b) including multiple, sometimes even contradictory ideas
7. a) using statistics ** b) using personal experiences / accounts
8. a) including data relevant to the task ** b) bringing in information from a variety of sources
9. a) Narrowing the scope b) extending the known boundaries
10. a) considering possible skepticism b) attending to credibility issues

Half of the ten pairs were included as “buffers.” That is, because it is difficult sometimes to separate what we do from what we think the experts believe we should do, five of the pairs were inserted to make the identified exercises less obvious. How many of your responses match the five that are asterisked?

0, 1, or 2 matches: Although you have probably had some successful in influencing others to join the betterment bandwagon from time to time, there is still some room for improvement. To illustrate, while simplicity is a good thing, restricting yourself to a simplistic view may cause you to neglect the multiple possibilities embedded in the various cultures your influence project depends upon. Develop your awareness of such and use the diversity of values ​​and the value of diversity to enrich your undertaking.

3 matches: You're already doing an above-average job of communicating. Nonetheless, if you are the kind of person who reads self-development books like this one, you are the kind of person who is interested in getting better than you are already. For the two italicized items you are not employing, select one, and for a period of three months commit to making greater use of that particular tool. Then, for the next three-month period, concentrate on using the other.

4 or 5 matches: You probably have been told many times that you are an outstanding communicator. This many matches confirms that fact. As an influencer, it looks you carefully weigh the conditions in which you are influencing and select the most appropriate medium for your message. In addition, you are probably a frequent user of the elements employed by the most capable communicators.

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