The often understated importance of Communication

Day in, day out we’re bombarded with people and companies trying to tell us something or sell us a point of view. Many of these people are professional communicators yet their message is lost in the mix. Unfortunately some of the best communications out there are completely disregarded by the public because they are reserved for unimportant messages (I’m thinking of advertising and product sales). Every one of us can think of some advertisement that was extremely effective but how many of us can say wow my boss really communicated that task or presentation effectively? This is why I think that the art of communication is often an understated skill.

To this point yesterday I found an article on Yahoo! Finance by Bill Stein who gave 10 rules about business conversations. The art of expressing yourself concisely and the to the point making sure the other person clearly understood your message is a rare thing. The article pointed out some basic rules about business conversations that he thinks many people don’t know or don’t follow and I completely agree with him.

On a personal note last week and over the weekend I encountered poor communication from my family while they were trying to help with our wedding planning. What did this result in? A lot of arguing and misunderstanding, which was completely unnecessary and lead to undue stress and didn’t need to occur had the message been clear and some thought been taken in the delivery.

Some of the most basic elements of communication (without getting into the theory of the subject) that I think are incredibly important is knowing your own communication style. Once you know how you communicate with others you can start to see how others receive your message which in turn will lead to you being able to adjust your message and how you deliver it so its understood more completely. Knowing how you communicate both through words on paper and verbally will give you an idea of how you might need to adjust what you say so its understood. Having a conversation with your loved ones and friends is completely different than talking to your boss and if you don’t see a difference then you might have encountered some difficulty in your communications.

One of the most important aspects of communication for me is the fact that it’s a two way street, you get feedback from the other person instantly even if they don’t say anything (especially during a conversation). Use this information to your advantage. I’m not suggesting that you need to become a master of conversational details and nuances but you need to pay attention to it or people will simply assume your message, which might be completely incorrect.

Many people struggle with communicating and they wonder why work is so difficult and why they don’t succeed as well as they could in the working world. Communicating and your ability to make money are very closely related even though they might not look like they are. Even being able to sit down with your banker or investment advisor and explain your goals effectively requires communication. Don’t discount being able to communicate, it’s understated and overlooked by many people, it could impact your bottom line more than you could possibly imagine.

[tags]communication, being understood, communicating, conversations[/tags]

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