What if your employees aren’t listening?

October 25, 2017

What if your employees aren’t listening?

Tell me if you’ve had an experience like this: You thought you gave your employee (or your significant other) clear and explicit instructions on something that needed to get done. And yet, the task didn’t get done the way you needed it to, or didn’t get done at all. Weren’t they listening? Or could it be that perhaps you didn’t communicate effectively?

With communication, there are so many things that could have come between you, the sender of the message, and the employee/significant other. All that stuff in between is called noise.  If you think about two tin cans connected by a string, noise is all the stuff that puts kinks in the string.

There are specific things you can do to reduce the noise so that people can hear you better. Here are three.

1. Use the full spectrum.  Professor Albert Mehrabian showed us that in fact only 7% of any communication is “the words.” The remaining 93% is split between our body language (55%) and our voice (38%). When you communicate in written form, you open your message up to lots of misinterpretation because of all that you leave out.

2. Adapt to them.  Each of us has a way that we prefer to communicate. Some like fast, short messages that are focused on the task.  Others like messages that are more feeling, more descriptive, and warmer.  When we don’t adapt how we communicate to the other person’s preferences, we run the risk that they tune us out.

3.  Anticipate. People have varying perspectives on issues, depending on what the value, and what they have experienced in life.  When you communicate, you have to anticipate how the other person’s perspective will color the message you are sending them.

These three things are a starting point. Communication is a huge issue and it is fundamental to positive human interaction. It is at the heart of success in any field. That’s why we focus so much of our leadership development on the many aspects of communication.

Check out our trainings and workshops to see if what we provide will enhance an area that you have identified as needing development.

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