Conversation is the way we express thoughts and feelings. It is also how we bring dreams and ideas into being. We first start with an idea, then we share the idea, then we brainstorm on how to bring the idea into fruition, and it then takes conversation… or communication… to make the idea into a product or service for others.
The art of conversation is a skill that successful people have mastered. Those who seem to effortlessly converse with others about a wide variety of topics are the ones tapped for executive and leadership positions both in the community and in business. Good conversational skills also assist in forming positive relationships as well as help strengthen existing relationships.
We have looked at a number of non-verbal communication techniques in earlier blogs this week. In addition to Paralinguistics, Proxemics, and Haptics, here are four additional non-verbal communication behaviors that often speak more loudly than words:
Another important piece of communication is haptic communication, or communicating via touch. This is another powerful non-verbal communication style that is very important in humans (as well as animals). Equally important is knowing the protocol of touch in various social, political, or professional settings.
Another interesting communication concept is the study of proxemics, which is simply the perception of body spacing and postures. Under the rules of proxemics, the physical distance between people are relative to the relationship they share. In order to avoid a social or professional faux pas, it is recommended that you do not share space outside of another person’s comfort zone.
How much of your message is non-verbal? A great deal! In fact people respond more to your body language than your words. In addition to body language, we communicate through paralinguistics. This is the part of our spoken words that are not the words themselves.
Many people think they are indispensable. Most people are not! The workforce of today and tomorrow requires skill sets and mind sets that will be instrumental to personal and business success.
Here are 16 creative ways to make you indispensable. If not to your current employer, to someone else who is looking for new talent.
1. Never stop learning!
2. Ability to get along with a broad range of personality types
3. Teach others by sharing your knowledge
4. Speak only in positive terms
5. Build coalitions
6. Raise your Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
7. Volunteer to assist others
8. Communicate effectively, timely, and in a positive manner
9. Look for the good in others
10. Lose the bad moods… or at least have them privately
11. Have a smile in your voice
12. NO WHINING!
13. Offer a hand, a shoulder, a solution
14. Take the initiative
15. Be aware of positive branding
16. Know your brand and make sure others know it too
A good personal coach can help you bring out your talents. Let us help facilitate that process. For more information on our personal coaching program call us at 901-757-4434 or 1-800-452-4036.
We all keep hearing about the tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico and the negative effects on the environment that will be years before they are fully known. Less talked about are the tragic deaths of the workers on the oil rig.
Even less attention has been given to the organizational behavior that is being attributed to at least part of the tragedy.
There is an over-abundance of toxic talk lately. Economy, joblessness, unemployment, underemployment… So, what is toxic talk? Toxic talk, whether expressed internally or externally, is conversations that are poisonous. Yes, conversations can act as poison.
In mid-evil times poison was placed on arrows that were then were poised and strung into bows to kill the enemy. This same effect is seen when our words and conversations with others are toxic. The same is true of our thoughts, also known as self-talk.
Words that are toxic, harsh, cruel, and negative can harm and even kill relationships and friendships, stifle productivity and creativity, and can even cause stress and illness if the words come often enough.
Sometimes the word “collaboration” brings up negative connotations. Many times the negative connotations come from opposing sides of the perceptions people have of the word itself. Some people will bristle at the word because they think it means to give in or compromise (passivity.) The reverse thinking gives rise to negative connotations when yet others perceive collaboration to mean “aggressively forcing people to agreement” (aggression.)
In actuality, neither perception is correct. True collaboration is neither passive nor aggressive. When done well and for the right reasons, collaboration is a skill necessary for effective communication in all realms, whether in a personal relationship, inside the C-Suite, or in the call center. Collaboration is the perfect balancing tool for effective leadership.
Why is it so difficult for people to use effective communication techniques? It seems to me that people must be studying how to be ineffective communicators! And within organizations, lack of communication is always in the top three of issues for the organization.
So what are the barriers to effective communication? Here is a list of seven factors that I find each week with clients or just plain old observation of different people situations…