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Listening or Waiting To Talk?

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Everyone should strive to become better communicators. And when building your organization, your ability to communicate with people from all walks of life is crucial to the survivability of your entire business. Break downs and hold-ups in communication can negatively effect your growth and perception from others. Being an effective communicator is hard work! You must be actively engaged with everyone you talk to, that means not just waiting for your turn to talk…

Are You Listening Or Waiting To Talk?
Communication is the process of sharing information, thoughts and feelings between people through speaking, writing or body language. Effective communication extends the concept to require that transmitted content is received and understood by someone in the way it was intended. The goals of effective communication include creating a common perception, changing behaviors and acquiring information.

Who Are You Talking To?
Considering the context of communication improves its effectiveness. Context takes into consideration the age, region, sex and intellectual abilities of the recipient. It is also useful to assess receptivity and the emotional state of the sender and receiver at the time of communication. For example, when speaking to an elementary school child about the importance of brushing teeth, you should choose different words and examples than you would when talking to a teenager or an adult.

Can You Read Body Language?
Body language includes posture, position of hands and arms, eye contact and facial expression. Children learn to read body language as a way to enhance understanding of the speaker’s intent. Body language that is consonant with the verbal content improves understanding. Body language that is inconsistent with content creates a question in the mind of the listener about the real message. For example, someone may be saying, “I really want to hear your opinion on this.” However if the person is looking away, has his arms folded or is typing a text message at the same time, his body language communicates an entirely different message.

Active Listening Is Engaging
Effective communication is a reciprocal process that includes listening. Successful listening requires eye contact, objective processing and feedback to the speaker. Active listening may involve asking clarifying questions or restating what was heard to assure that the intent of the message sent was correctly received. Active listening becomes particularly important when the communication includes emotional content.

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