In a perfect world what you say people actually will actually hear. The messages you want to deliver will have the outcome you desired. However, the reality is, that’s not always the case.
We’ve all been there before, you have this great idea, you express its value only to have it lost in translation on its way to its intended audience. The saying “in one ear out the other,” wasn’t just made up.
In most circumstances in communications we worry too much about what we actually say rather than what we actually want. Before you do anything you should be asking yourself:
What are my goals behind this message? And;
Who is receiving this message?
The answers to these questions will give you clarity towards your message. The more clear your message is to you the better chance you have in getting it across to your intended audience. On top of clarity, however, there are a few things to keep in mind when communicating.
A Two-way Street that Only Goes One-way
The “Communication is a two-way street” speech is kind of a lie. It’s a simple enough sentence that we never question & just agree with. But, in reality we only want communication to go one way….our way. It’s as easy as, we want what we say to be heard & understood, which is not always the case. Why? Because the person you’re talking to is thinking the same thing.
In the end what you have is a two-way conversation that doesn’t go anywhere. However, if you understand this point you’ll know how to quickly figure out your audiences goals and align them with yours. You create a win-win of sorts that gets message across.
Knowing Your Audience & Environment
Your audience & your environment are two of the most important principles for effective communication (either verbal or written) Who you’re talking to & where you are have major impacts on your tone, the words you choose & so much more.
When you think of the who & where, it all seems like common sense but you’d be surprised the amount of people who don’t think of these two factors.
The harsh truth is you can have the greatest message in the world, but the person receiving that great message will always understand it through the spectrum of their own emotions, beliefs & preconceptions.
The environment you’re delivering your message in will determine some of the receivers emotions & preconceptions (of what is acceptable.) This one is so simple yet people don’t always abide by this one but you’re not going speak the same way in a conference room as you are in the gym. Or your writing tone will be different between blogging or an inner-office memo.
Wants & Emotions
The last but not least principle is usually the very first thing we think about – what are we looking for! Although we all know someone who talks just to hear themselves talk the whole point of your communication (presuming you’re not one of these people) is to get something.
It could be a sale, to teach a lesson, pick a restaurant, whatever it is the mission of any communication is to get your point across. And, with that point comes an emotional state. If you really want to dig deep & get your message across you’ll figure out what emotional state you need your prospect in for that to happen. Once you figure that state out you can use words that will change the receivers emotions to garner a positive result towards your communication goal.
At this point, you may be thinking this is manipulation but the fact is that’s what all communication is. The words you use can be the most powerful weapon you have in your marketing arsenal (or in the business world/career) or the biggest thing holding you back. This is both the beauty & danger of communications.
If you approach communication, in any medium, with these principles in mind you’ll have a better chance of successfully getting your message across.