Effective communication has always been a hot topic in leadership and sales training curriculum. What does it mean to be an effective communicator? Before sharing my perspective, take the short quiz below and see if you make any of these common communication mistakes.
The following quiz reveals communication errors that will sour your reputation and keep you from becoming a trusted leader in your field. Notice the following are YES and NO questions because human beings are notorious for justifying poor behavior.
If you have done what the questions below suggest at least once in the last month, answer YES rather than excusing the action with justifications like “I only do it once in awhile” or “Everyone does that!”
TAKE THE QUIZ
YES NO In conversations, do you do more talking than listening?
YES NO When someone offers an idea or suggestion, do you ever cut them off or start
sharing your opinion on the matter instead of validating that person’s view
first or asking for clarification regarding the statement they made?
YES NO When people (co-workers, salespeople, vendors, customers) reach out to you
through a phone call or email, do you ever blow them off (neglect to
acknowledge receiving their correspondence) or promptly get back to them?
YES NO Do hold back from sharing your honest opinion or refrain from being direct
because it might hurt/anger the other person or because you don’t like
YES NO Do you offer abrasive feedback because you are a straight shooter instead of
reflecting on how your words may emotionally impact the person you’re
speaking to and then compassionately softening your delivery?
YES NO Do you look for opportunities to prove your point, win an argument, or make
yourself look good at another’s expense rather than purposefully lifting up,
validating or appreciating diverse viewpoints?
YES NO Do you regularly pay others compliments and give people your undivided
If you’ve answered YES to any of these questions, you now have the opportunity to improve your communication skills. If you responded with NO to every one of these questions, you are likely in denial. People continuously commit these communication crimes, even if they are unaware of it, which is often the case.
Whenever you become aware of mistakes you’re making, it creates an OPPORTUNITY to grow and become better. Rather than feeling bad, channel your energy into making improvements in this area. Set an intentional goal to actively work on specific aspects of your persuasive communication throughout the week.
Also, pay attention to how others seem to respond to your new attempts. If you’re feeling courageous, ask for feedback on how you’ve been communicating with them lately. Only through external input can you discover how you’re coming across to others or in what way you might need to adjust your approach. Ineffective communicators only use their preferred mode of expression, whereas influential communicators adapt their style and method based on the needs of the person in front of them.
In my Mesmerizing Leadership™ and Mesmerizing Sales™ programs, I teach participants that to be a Mesmerizing Communicator, you must consistently LUV (Listen to, Understand and Validate) others.
The best communicators do more listening than talking. They seek first to understand the other person’s point of view and how they feel about the situation at hand before sharing their perspective. They’ve honed their skills at asking questions to gain further clarification rather than making assumptions about what the person might have meant by the comments they made and emphasize respecting the person, even if they disagree with the viewpoint.
You might not always agree with other peoples’ ideas, yet through seeking commonalities, strengthening what you do agree on, and remaining mindful of the person’s feelings in spite of disagreements, your reputation, and influential status, will continue to rise.
Tim Shurr is President of Shurr ! Success, Inc. and an expert at helping leaders, sales teams, and employees eliminate common workplace blind spots, increase productivity, and build cultures that keep companies relevant and sustainable!
Grab Tim’s complimentary E-book here CureForSelfSabotage.com