The phrase “you are the message” is as accurate today as the day it was written. Everything you do or say conveys a communication message. Many of my business clients note that good communication skills really stand out in today’s cluttered business day. Managers almost always list good communication skills as a “required skill” on job requisitions, screen for them during a job interview, and rely on them in the day-to-day operations of running the business.
Check your communication style against the THREE that I have listed here to ensure that you are doing all you can to send and receive the message as it was intended. Not, by the way, as easy as it sounds.
- Verbal and non-verbal communications are equal partners. These two elements combine to form the message you are sending. Research shows that over half of all human communication takes place on a nonverbal level. In fact, when your words and your actions (nonverbal) are not in sync, the nonverbal message is believed over the words you are saying almost 100% of the time! That is a very compelling reason to say what you mean and mean what you say.
- Body language matters. I’m sure that you have heard the phrase “actions speak louder than words.” We all use our bodies when we speak. Body movement, facial expressions, eye contact, posture all combine to support the words you are speaking or the thoughts you are thinking. Together these body movements add greatly to the spoken word. Imagine speaking with someone who does not move at all during the conversation. We would quickly tire of this type of conversation. In fact, most would find it so boring that we would completely tune out the speaker and the message. Think about the last time you were in the audience and had to endure a dull speaker. Question is how quickly did you check out mentally?
- Your voice is a tool. Your voice is a tool that you can use to improve the delivery of your message. Your rate of speaking is one critical element. Speaking too slow or too fast can detract from the message as can the volume of your voice. If a listener has to strain to hear you, they may feel they are working too hard and tune you out. Conversely, if you speak too loud, it hurts the eardrums of the listener. They instinctively step away from you to lessen or reduce the uncomfortable feeling of hearing you speak. Voice pitch is another crucial element that can be controlled so that it is not too high or too low.
Linda Trignano is a communication skills coach who helps her professional business clients who are serious about having essential communication skills that impact work productivity and career advancement. She is a DiSC distributor and has a specialty offer managing Grief in the Workplace to leaders and managers who have employees going through difficult life transitions or loss. Interested in setting up a training class or lunch & Learn at your office? Contact her at http://www.trignanoconsulting.com or 551-800-1127.