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5 Keys of Effective Communication

5 Keys of Effective Communication
5 Keys of Effective Communication

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the 5 keys of effective communication.

First a quick update:

“Persuasion & Influence Secrets”
What is the primary secret to all persuasion? What are the 6 ‘weapons of influence” and how can you use those techniques for sales and marketing?

“Kanye West, Bipolar, Narcissism and Trauma
It was first incorrectly reported that Kanye West had been put on a 5150 psychiatric. What is 5150 Psychiatric hold? Listen here and learn the links between “sleep deprivation and exhaustion”, psychosis and Bipolar Disorder, and what might actually be truly going on with Kanye West and the pattern of his erratic behavior which has been highly evident since the death of his mother in November 2007.

“Yes, It Is Personal”
In his book, The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz teaches that we should never take anything personally i.e. if someone is angry, critical or condemnatory towards you, it is their issue and not yours. Is that accurate? Is that a valid teaching? What about personal responsibility and accountability? Watch the video.

Now, let’s talk about the 5 keys of effective communication.

It is one of the most common complaints by a woman of her male partner: he doesn’t communicate.

Why do women say that so often?

Communication is sharing. It can also be an exchange of information if there is two-way communication.

Thus, when a woman says “he doesn’t communicate”, she is actually saying he doesn’t share; he doesn’t share enough of himself – his thoughts, feelings, attitudes, beliefs, dreams, etc. And often, she wants it expressed verbally.

Of course, communication can also occur without words: when we take the time to notice what people are sharing about their feelings via their facial expressions and body language, we can also receive and decipher information and messages about what the other person is experiencing.

Accordingly, a person who remains silent can also be communicating or sharing his/her feelings, although the communication might not be clear to the other person.

Stop and notice what the other person might be feeling right now even if they are not speaking a word.

When most of us set out to communicate, we are often really saying, “I want you to understand me and my position.”
Effective communication, though, involves more than one-sided sharing.

Effective communication consists of 5 keys.

1. Set the Intention
It is always surprising for me to hear someone say that they begin meetings, talks, discussions or chats without setting an intention. You can’t hit a target if you don’t have one. And you can’t measure the effectiveness of your communication if you don’t even know what it is that you are actually trying to achieve.

Most of our intentions in communication fall into one of 3 categories:

I. Self-Expression
Is your intention to be heard, to vent, to be understood, to express your feelings and emotions, to get something off your chest?

II. “Please Tell Me ‘Why?’”
Is your intention to understand the motives of the actions (or lack of action) by someone? Closure and resolution often occur when: we are able to express everything we felt’ we can be heard and; we can hear the answer to why someone behaved a certain way towards us.

III. Behavioral Change
Is your intention to influence, encourage or demand that the other person modify some aspect of their behavior?

Key: Get clear about what you want to achieve in the planned communication.

2. Establish The Emotional Mindset
You know exactly what you want to achieve in your planned communication; will you be able to achieve it if your emotional mindset is not in alignment with your intentions? For example, if you plan to demand a behavioral change and you are in a position of power, you might be able to achieve that even if you are angry, although that is not the recommended approach. If you are angry, frustrated, aggressive and hostile, will you be able to truly listen to the other person? Will you be able to express feelings beyond those of anger in a way that is understood by the other person? Will you be able to express empathy and understanding? Will you have the person’s volition or simply their forced agreement?

The ideal emotional mindset is to be calm, poised and open to freely expressing yourself and freely listening to the other person.

Next, consider what the emotional mindset is of the other person.

Is their emotional mindset ideal for the communication and your intention? You cannot control their mindset; however, you could wait 24 hours for intense emotions to lessen.

Key: Ensure your emotional mindset and that of the other person are optimum for the content of your intended communication

3. Choose a Neutral Setting
If the topic is time-sensitive i.e. it needs to be addressed immediately, then definitely seek to have a conversation in a neutral place – preferably an open, neutral space such as a park, garden, lake and so forth. This open, calm environment encourages a calm response and prevents the anchoring of negative communications to a place that is usually associated with positive experiences. For example, don’t have heavy conversations or communications in bed or the bedroom; reserve the bedroom as a haven, a place of calm, comfort, pleasure and rest. In the work setting, don’t have a serious and crucial conversation at someone’s desk; choose an outside picturesque setting where possible. If you have a heavy conversation at your desk or theirs, then they will always associate that desk with something negative, heavy or serious.

Key: Choose a calm, serene and neutral setting away from home or the office to have serious communications

4. Seek Mutual Understanding
Decide before beginning the communication to achieve mutual understanding. Even if it is clear that your team member, friend or colleague did something wrong, set out to learn why they did what they did and understand their behavior and motivations. Focus on expressing empathy which is critical if you want to achieve effective communication that builds the relationship and motivates the other person to give more of him/herself to the relationship or to the team and company vision.

Key: Don’t lecture or simply vent; ask questions, listen and express empathy to create mutual understanding and new motivation.

5. Communicate In Person
Technology offers the opportunity to speak to someone instantly anywhere in the world. And yet, technology hasn’t improved relationships; research reveals we feel more disconnected than ever before. Why?

We are failing to communicate in person. We need to share in person. When you communicate in person, you can express empathy and compassion in a way not possible with technology. Being in person also demonstrates that you care about the person and the intended communication and sends the message that the other person is significant!

Key: Don’t send texts, emails or voice messages; if you actually care, then talk in person!

Learn more about how texting damages relationships.

Here is another variation of the keys to effective and persuasive communication in an earlier article I wrote offering more insights into setting the intention, establishing the mindset and achieving mutual understanding.

If you need assistance to improve your communication skills, book a one-on-one session with me or book me for corporate training programs and workshops.

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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