I was recently asked to deliver both a key-note and a workshop around communication for a large organisation and one of the a main topics of discussion fell around how we currently communicate with our audiences. I asked the question “How do you currently communicate with your audience?” From there a discussion evolved surrounding the various forms of communication used within various sectors and job roles, leading to the differentiation of those said forms of communications and platforms, finalising with what people’s preferences were and why.
Many spoke about email being the main way they communicate, whereby messaging can often be misconstrued or mistranslated compared to being in the room with someone having a face-to-face conversation or even by telephone.
This then led to the interesting notion and realisation in some cases that communication isn’t just about the words that we speak, but a whole host of other things such as body language, including mannerisms, handshakes, body positioning, eye contact, facial expression and hand gestures amongst others. Email also removes the detail that we get from verbal expression, such as linguistics and speech patterns, not to mention story content and if we really delve in deep, we can look at other forms such as self- comforting gestures, how to spot a liar and the power behind a smile.
Knowing how to read people in this way, certainly helps you to be able to diagnose issues that are apparent with perhaps a client or staff member who is struggling but not being honest, or to identify a team member who is facing a challenge or to assist when in negotiations in business.
Being equipped with the tools you need to not only help you to communicate better, but to read other people when they are communicating is a fast track to getting ahead in not only business but in life and could save you a lot of stress and heart ache in the long run in many scenarios.
Now I’m not against communication by email or text, in fact I use it daily and it has its place- its quick, convenient and easy. However, for something like for example, a coaching session, one to one with a staff/team member or business discussion, I would always advise taking it offline and giving yourself and the other person the opportunity to use communication in all its forms. This could not only save time in the long-run, but also help to prevent any ‘mis-communication’ and you never know, this could lead to a discussion or confession that you least expected, but that in turn helps you to move the situation forward in a positive way.
My two hour interactive workshops cover three key areas of communication including: ‘Communication in all its forms’ as discussed in this article, ‘Language’, which will see us discuss the relevance of understanding both verbal and body language within your career, which will give you the transferable skills to help overcome and manage stressful and challenging situations. The final segment delves into ‘The art of conversation’ and through a simple visualisation tool, we will look at how you can become the perfect conversationalist, touching on the relevance of small talk, creative questioning and more.
Investing time in bettering your communication will result in nothing but positive outcomes for you and those you encounter in life and business, just think how many world problems could have been solved by now with better communication, but it’s not too late- it all starts with ourselves.
Fiona Duncan-Steer, RSViP