When you think about your biggest challenges when working with your colleagues, it might be the art of communicating and the science of communication. Communication includes many aspects, including listening, feedback and even dealing with conflict.
Listening is part of our day
We spend nearly 70% of our day communicating— and not just with words. We also communicate through body language, tone of voice, facial expressions, and even our perception of others. When we do not use active listening skills, many issues can arise like misunderstandings, errors, and damaged relationships.
Active listening can help you build trust, solve problems and gather information from other people. We listen at 400-500 words per minute, but we can only speak at roughly 150 words per minute. Because our brains are wired to try and make sense of the world, we attempt to fill in the gaps when we hear others trying to communicate information.
Giving and receiving feedback
As part of communication, it is important to take feedback and give it to others. One of the best tips for improving your communication ability is to remember that we have the power to decide what we do with the information we receive. When giving feedback, one should be kind, and respectful, and foster a psychologically safe environment. Additionally, one should remember cultural differences and have humility.
When you receive feedback, do not become defensive. Instead, ask for examples of what would make the situation more effective, and remember to be kind and respectful.
Conflict falls into three categories: task, relationship, and value. When you encounter conflict, consider thinking about if the conflict is coming from one of these areas.
Task: A procedural conflict
Relationship: A difference of opinion
Value: A difference in identity or values
When handling difficult conversations, remember to actively listen, find a common ground and consider the bigger picture.
Communication is the essence of a good relationship. Empowered, proactive professionals find effective solutions to business disputes before they escalate. They understand how to communicate effectively, negotiate win-win deals, influence decisions and manage risk by thinking creatively.