We all want to be heard, the trouble is that we often go about it the wrong way. Raising the volume or adding more colourful adjectives just doesn’t seem to work! The communication process seems so simple but daily I talk to people who feel that nobody cares or listens to them. So here are six steps to better communication:
- Listen! Each of us must earn the right to be heard. It is only as we listen to the people we want to speak to that we will begin to understand who they are and develop the relationship on which to build effective communication.
- Effective strategy! When you know who you are trying to speak to you must decide what you are trying to say and HOW? An effective strategy is one which takes into account, not just the listener but the best way to convey your information, covering what you expect, possible arguments and possible visual aids.
- Assurance! To be heard you must be confident in who you are and the importance of your message. Assume the character of an authoritative achiever and it will show through in your presentation.
- Deliberately reherse! Even after years of practice as a speaker, I still reherse important messages. That is the way to develop passion and if you are game, tape it and assess it. Ask yourself, would you be convinced?
- Express required response! Tell them what you want them do to, clearly and concisly. Leave them in no doubt about the decision you are requiring them to make. Plan for a strong, confident conclusion, then
- Rest! Stop, and resist the temptation to waffle on, bite your tongue! Allow the silence to happen and wait for the other person to speak first. Be prepared to listen and learn, rather than just thinking you have the only option.
It seems to me that what we need in the RAAF today are more LEADER’s who are effective communicators…no matter what their rank! Communication both up and down the chain of command will achieve so much more if we follow these six steps. You might be surprised to find that this works equally well in families and prayer!
Chaplain Ian S Whitley