Become A Great Communicator

Posted by on Apr 5, 2013 in Communication | 0 comments

A while back I picked up a quote from leadership guru, Peter M. Senge (author, The Fifth Discipline ) that made me really  think about the nature of conversation and communication.  I have always enjoyed a good discussion,  but Senge pointed out that the word “discussion”  is rooted in the words “percussion”  and “concussion” …. he characterized a discussion as the “literal heaving of ideas back and forth in a winner takes all competition.”

Ouch!  … is that really what we intend when we enter into a conversation with someone?  Perhaps not, but it IS often where we end up.  It’s no wonder we feel frustrated or dissatisfied or just plain exhausted after a ‘discussion’.   Heaving ideas is a considerable amount of work and certainly doesn’t seem to be part of great communication.

So, what makes a great communicator?  Try this on for size…

  • Great communicators are focused.  They focus not only on the issue at hand but on the people they are conversing with.
  • Great communicators listen.  Really, really well.   They listen, observe and cut through the clutter to get to the point.  They may even listen more than they talk!
  • Great communicators acknowledge what they hear and make sure they’ve got it right.
  • Great communicators welcome new perspective and can leverage it effectively.
  • Great communicators build relationships.  They know that communication is more than words and ideas.   They know that conversations define relationships and that relationships are the driver behind almost everything we do.

Great communicators are skilled and dedicated to their craft.  Like any skill, it does take practice and a bit of persistence,  but  the payoff may be well worth the effort.  After all, great communication often leads to other great things.

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