According to George Bernard Shaw “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” That’s why this Empowering Belief is so important.
Most of us think that we have successfully communicated as soon as we have made our own point. This belief reminds us that the communication is only complete when there has been a response. And the response will also tell us the success (or otherwise) of our communication.
A good way to improve communication is to consider what response we are hoping for. This also helps when choosing the best communication medium, the best timing, or even the right audience for your communication.
What response do you want?
You might want to receiver to be informed, or to take action, or to engage in a discussion with you, or simply to be entertained. Each of these will result in a different response.
What can the response tell you?
The response you get will tell you:
Whether your communication has been successfully received.
Whether you communication has been understood or interpreted in the way you intended.
Whether your communication has triggered the action you expected.
Three steps to excellent communication
Excellent communicators remember three key steps:
Know your audience before communicating. Adapt both the message and the medium to their needs.
Know your target response when crafting your communication. For example, if you want the response to be an action, then explicitly ask for that action. If you want the response to be a discussion, explicitly set the arena for that discussion to take place.
Actively monitor the response and act on it:
If no response comes, adjust your communication and try again.
If you get a different response to what you expected, adjust your communication and try again.
And what about you?
What happens when you use this Empowering Belief to take a fresh look at the quality of your own communication?
What do you notice?
What responses are you getting, and were they what you hoped for?
If not, what might you do differently?
If you want to learn more about the art of communication, then why not take our Introduction to NLP. Or join us in sunny Fuerteventura for A 4-day Personal Development Retreat.
About Madeleine Allen: The author is a specialist in Leadership, Communication and Personal Development for business professionals. An NLP Trainer and Master Practitioner she conducts in-house corporate training (learn more at www.allentraining.co.uk) and public courses in NLP (learn more at www.nlpedinburgh.co.uk)