Nick Cerda

Live well. Lead well.

3 Keys of Successful Communication

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Being a good communicator is key. Communication affects every area of your life. Friends, work, family, marriage are all relationship whose success hinges on successful communication. The better your communication the better these areas of your life.

As much as communication is talked about and encouraged I still find it’s value understated or misunderstood.

Good communication is taken for granted. Poor communication is taken as offense.

We assume coworkers will share the same value of communication. We assume family members adopt the same nuances in expectation of language. We assume if we’re saying the same words and phrases we’re communicating and yet we all know and have stories of how the opposite is true.

Being a successful communicator means you are:
1. Clear
2. Constructive
3. Considerate

Clear. A successful communicator can clearly articulate his or her point in a concise manner. Often clarity is gained through processing. While it’s tempting to “shoot from the hip” or “thinking out loud” this isn’t the recipe for clear communication. Most of the time processing should take place as a solo exercise and either spoken or written.

  • Am I able to articulate clearly what I want to communicate?
  • Do I know what I want to say and have I considered how it’s going to be received.
  • Am I going to want to “take back” my words in a few minutes, hours or days?
  • Am I saying what I want to say or what I think they want to hear?

Clear communication is thoughtful communication. 

Constructive. Constructive communication seeks to build up a person or situation. This doesn’t mean the conversation is void of criticism but it’s criticism with solutions, problem-solving, and a seeking for a common good. Constantly criticizing and offering critique isn’t constructive communication. But being willing to engage in healthy conflict is. Advancing a relationship will mean being willing to have hard conversations. Complimenting staff on a job well done is also useful in being constructive.

  • Does my communication seek to build, improve or advance?
  • Is what I’m saying constructive (useful)?

Considerate. Considerate communication considers the feelings of those who will receive (hear) the communication. This means tone, word selection, and environment all matter. They matter more than you think. Considerate communication holds the value of the hearer as much as the message needing to be communicated. A rant to your staff team might make you feel better but consider first that you are impacting the emotions of your entire team. A “hey, we need to talk” might make you feel better when said in the morning about an evening conversation you want to have but your spouse is going to be stressed out all day.

  • When you communicate are you considering the impact it will have on those hearing it?

Successful communication is:
Clear
Constructive
Considerate

About Nick Cerda

I'm Nick Cerda; I help people take the next step to fulfill dreams and live better lives. My wife and I live in Asheville, North Carolina with our 3 children. Follow me on twitter, friend me on facebook, or email me.

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