Do you sometimes feel that people do not seem to understand what you are trying to say? Do you feel that they are just not listening? You can improve your communications the secret is to get the people you are trying to communicate with to help you!
Communication is a two way process, not a one way event
As a human you have the most advanced system of communication of any being on this planet! More advanced than anything outside of a science fiction movie! And yet, from time to time, we all struggle to get our ideas across to other people.
Communication between humans is in fact a cyclical process that involves more than one person, its not an event where you communicate and the other person listens and then responds. Communication involves two people – you cant communicate with a brick!
The cycle of communication goes like this you have an internal response to an event or an idea which causes you to exhibit an external behaviour (you say or do something). The other person or people observe that behaviour, respond to it internally and then exhibit their external behaviour (their response to what youve just said or done). The cycle starts again: you take in their response and generate an response to it, which causes you exhibit another external behaviour
You feel you are communicating when you see that the other persons behaviour in some way matches the original internal response that you generated. It might be that you asked them to do something if they do it then youve communicated. It might be that you said something like I love you, if they say I love you too in response – youve communicated.
The true measure of your communication is the response that you get
The problem with your communications is that there are a lot of opportunities for errors. You might expect that your words are the most important part of your communication and be surprised when the response you get does not correlate with what you said.
Psychological research has shown that in presenting in front of a group of people, 55% of the impact comes from your body language, 38% from the tone of your voice and a mere 7% is from the meaning of your words. These proportions are going to vary in different situations, but the message is clear: theres a lot more to communication that just words.
In fact you may be saying something in words – like hallo, but your tone of voice and body language can convey a whole spectrum of meaning with just that one word menace, anger, sarcasm, friendliness, love
You may think you are saying something to the other person, but the meaning that they pick up is something completely different. Not only that, but if youve know them for a while, they will also add extra meaning based on your past behaviour
The only way to truly understand what you have communicated is to watch how people respond to your communications. If you do this often enough and with enough care, you will start to understand what you are really saying and what you need to do to communicate your true meaning.
Mental self help tip if you are having difficulty communicating, remember: communication is the response you get. Watch how other people respond to what you are communicating. By doing this you will become a more effective and expert communicator. You will gain the edge in influencing people around you.