The Sunday Feed
Increasing productivity with better communication
CEOs very clearly understand that the one thing that connects all the activities in the organisation is personal interaction, be it face-to-face or online. They value the debates and discussions that happen behind every decision that is made.
Here are some ways to better your communication skills no matter at which capacity you serve your company. The better you get at this skill, the more you will realise that you career is progressing exponentially.
1. Stay Focused: Not many people know that any point of time there are about 8–10 sounds that are going on around you while you are reading this. But, you deliberately decide to focus on one and the rest automatically seem to get muted.
However, before you complete reading it, you will suddenly notice that some of the silent noises have become active again. The reality is that your focus has depleted and you need to take a break and then regroup.
2. Understand the rhythm: In this world there are 2 kinds of people — Those who talk too much and the others who do not talk at all. The idea is to be prepared for both and change your style to suit them. At least when the conversation starts.
When I say change your style to suit the other person, it does not mean to speak fast if other person is talking fast or otherwise. What I mean is to match the rhythm in the beginning and bring down the person to your level or take it up a notch if you deem necessary.
3. Use open-ended question: Apart from other things, social media has made everyone an activist. Everyone is willing to thrust his/ her idea down the throat of the other person. Just by reading an article or watching a 2-minute video clip, people think that they have become experts and have the license to say what they think is right.
This has also affected our communication skills because we are more willing to either force our opinion or vehemently defend ours rather than giving the other person a chance to state his/ her point of view and listen to it. I can bet my life that if you are open to listening to people and their views, you will be respected more than anyone else because there aren’t many people left who have the patience to do so.
4. Go with the flow: The one thing that a lot of fashion business understand is that if you really want to make money in the industry, it is important to be in trend. Never try too hard to introduce something that is not seen as modern because you will end up with a lot of unsold inventory.
The science behind this is that people never make rational decisions. They act on the basis of what makes them feel good. What makes them feel comfortable and especially what makes them seen as a part of the group.
The same principle applies to communication as well. Of course you do not have to compulsorily nod or comment on a topic you don’t like or agree with but at least do not make enemies by going against it. Just be quiet. There will be other topics that lie within your area of interest.
5. Be Honest: I think one of the things that has fuelled people to lie are multinational companies. For decades, the various brands have got away by promising much more than what they have delivered. This has made people to believe that it is okay to lie.
Sometimes, we make the same mistake. We promise much more than we can deliver. However, we need to stop this habit and be completely honest with the staff, our colleagues our company and most of all, our customer. If the company forces you to lie to the consumer, start looking for a new job.
6. Go slow with your experience: You are the hero of your life and your experience is a snippet from your life. This makes you deeply involved at an emotional level with all the experience you have ever had — both big and small.
However, when you try to narrate that to the audience, 99% will reject that because it does not relate to them. Out of the 1% who is willing to listen and learn, will be paying close attention to the way you communicate. If they ever get a feeling that you are trying to pontificate, they will shut down immediately.
Practice makes perfect and that applies to every walk of life. A deliberate effort can definitely make you better. So the next time you communicate, try and see how many of the above principles you can apply. I definitely will.
John Khalkho — CEO Dolores Education