How often do you feel misunderstood?
If you feel misunderstood, then you probably are.
If you do not feel misunderstood, statistics say you are misunderstood.
In Business Communication: Process and Product, authors M.E. Guffey and D. Loewy write, “Experts say that we listen at only 25 percent efficiency. In other words, we ignore, forget, distort, or misunderstand 75 percent of everything we hear.” Say What!?! Considering this staggering truth, one thing is certain: to be effective leaders we must master the art of communication.
What do you think of when you hear the term communication?
Communication is a leader’s primary tool for creating impact and influence.
Merriam-Webster defines communication as, “the act or process of using words, sounds, signs, or behaviors to express or exchange information or to express your ideas, feelings, etc., to someone else.”
Leader’s often dedicate time and energy to honing public speaking skills, but that is no longer enough. Technology advances at staggering proportions, increasing global connectivity, and decreasing effective communication skills. A momentous leader is one who has a lifelong dedication to mastering all communication forms.
No one ever listened himself out of a job.
– President Calvin Coolige
Have you heard the adage God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason?
Leaders who spend time learning to listen well will gain greater clout than those who capitalize conversation. Speaking into another’s life is an honor and a privelege that must be earned. Listening to other’s before trumpeting self communicates care, respect, and trust.
How can you be a master communicator?
- Stop talk. Rather than monopolizing conversation, become an active listener.
- Stop thinking. Rather than formulating your response, concentrate on what is being said.
- Stop multitasking. Put the phone away. Let the speaker know they are heard.
- Control your environment. Move the conversation to a quiet area conducive for the speaker to be heard well.
- Start Observing. Notice noverbal cues. Recognize feelings. Differentiate between fact and opinion.
Listening well communicates care.
To earn influence a leader must listen well;
because people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.