The way we communicate is important; however I have found many do not pay enough attention to the message they are sending through their words, especially in the workplace. While few, if any of us are always spot-on, there are measures we can take to make the most of our words.

Quality, Not Quantity

  • Some people believe the more words they use the more intelligent they sound. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is a Bible verse that says, “When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.” (Prov 10:19). Perception for those who like to yack without taking a breath is that they are lacking substance and are trying to cover up the emptiness with a lot of blah, blah, blah.
  • Lesson: Choose your words carefully; Make your point and move on. You gain credibility the more concise and pointed you are.

Excitement, Not Frustration

  • This is one I struggle with. The more “passionate” I am about something, the more intense my demeanor. Not realizing it when we are trying to communicate something we want our audience to get, our body language and intensity can send a totally different message.
  • Lesson: Remember to smile. The passion of our message is better received when sugar is added.

Bringing, Not Dragging

  • We have all been there. We need the team to move to a new place, but there is resistance. The resistance, if we are not careful can cause us to become frustrated. In our determination to get people to see the light we actually turn them off as they feel as though they are getting a beat-down.
  • Lesson: The art of persuasion can only happen when we operate from our audience’s point of view. It’s not until we learn to appreciate other people’s perspectives and ideas that we can begin to influence change.

Humorous, Not Comedy Club

  • Our message needs to be light-hearted; however too much comedy can make us seem unprofessional.
  • Lesson: Have the right amount of humor but not too much. If you find yourself constantly cracking jokes you might want to back off a bit. Check your content to ensure your words contain the right amount of business to gain and maintain the respect of your peers.

Serious, Not Stick-in-the-mud

  • On the flip-side of being a comedian is becoming someone who is perceived as not having a personality. Never smiling and always about “the business” is not the way to communicate.
  • Lesson: Lighten up!

Balance, Not Dominant

  • The worse thing a person can do is dominate a conversation. Long stories that never end; having something to say about everything or trying to “one-up” people’s stories will find you being ostracized by your peers.
  • Lesson: Hold your thoughts. There is nothing that says we have to dump everything we know or have done on people. Despite what we might think, none of us are as exciting as we think we are. I say that tongue-in-cheek, but if you want to avoid being perceived as a person who totally self absorbed, allow others to have the spot light. Another Proverb says, “Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.” I think that speaks enough for itself.

A person’s ability to communicate is a huge determinate in how far and where they will go. As I mentioned in the beginning, few of us are where we need to be; however if we are open to being honest about where we are and are willing to grow we can make tremendous strides in the right direction.

Coach Robert

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