In the two previous parts of this article, Brian Tracy talked about the myths of communication, as well as the communication process and the elements of face-to-face communications. This part focuses on the importance of preparing for your communications. As a leader, your communications need to influence and persuade the people you come in contact with. For example, you need to create a vision of the future your employees can understand and strive to achieve. You need to explain your purpose and value proposition to clients, bankers and others that support you financially. How well you do as an organization is dependent on how well you can communicate the goals of your company. Are you getting your ideas across? Read on to find out how to maximize your ability to communicate.
Getting Your Ideas Across, Part 3
By: Brian Tracy
So your choice of words is important, but even more important is your tone of voice and your body language. The better you can coordinate all three of those ingredients, the more impact your message will have, and the greater will be the likelihood that a person will both understand it and react the way you want him to.
You’ve heard the saying that God gave man two ears and one mouth, and in conversation, you should use them in those proportions. Truer words were never spoken. The best communicators are excellent listeners. The worst communicators are continuous talkers. In fact, often the most important part of the message is the part that is conveyed by the pauses you make between thoughts and ideas. The message is conveyed in the silence that takes place during the lulls in conversation. All master communicators have learned to be comfortable with silence. Remember that a person can absorb only a certain amount of information, as ground can absorb only a certain amount of water. If you pour too much water onto the ground, it will form into puddles instead of soak in. A person’s mind is very much the same. If you don’t give someone an opportunity to absorb what you’re saying, by pausing and waiting quietly and patiently, he will be overwhelmed by the continuous stream of thoughts and ideas, and often will distort the message and miss the point.
One of the most vital requirements for effective communication, especially with important messages, is preparation. Preparation is the mark of the true professional. The late Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant of the University of Alabama football team was famous for saying, “It’s not the will to win but the will to prepare to win that counts.” In all communications, the will to prepare in advance of talking and interacting with people is the key to achieving maximum effectiveness.
Remember that in communicating, people do things for their own reasons, not for yours. Everyone’s favorite radio station is WIIFM, which means “What’s in it for me?”
The more important the communication, either in business or personal life, the more important it is to prepare for it. Think through where the other person is coming from. What is his or her point of view? What are his or her problems or concerns? What is he or she trying to accomplish? What is his or her level of knowledge or information about the subject under discussion?
In getting your point across, perhaps the most important word of all is the word ask. The most effective people are those who are the best at asking for what they want. They ask questions to uncover real needs and concerns. They ask questions to illuminate objections and problems that people might have with what they’re suggesting. They ask questions to expand the conversation and to increase their understanding of where people are really coming from.
You get your message understood by getting out of yourself, by putting your ego aside, and by focusing all of your attention on the other person. You get people to do the things you want them to do by presenting your arguments in terms of their interests, in terms of what they want to be and have and do. You prepare thoroughly in advance of any important conversation. You think before you speak, and you think on paper. You can say almost anything if you say it, or ask it, pleasantly, positively and with courtesy and friendliness.
The ability to communicate is a skill that you can learn by becoming genuinely interested in people and by putting their needs ahead of your own when sending a message or asking them to do something for you. When you concentrate your attention on building trust, on the one hand, and on seeking to understand, on the other hand, you’ll become known and respected as an effective communicator everywhere you go.
If you missed the first two parts of this article, go to HighGrowthBusiness.com to see the article in its entirety.
About the author
Brian Tracy is a legendary in the fields of management, leadership, and sales. He has produced more than 300 audio/video programs and has written 28 books, including his just-released book “The Psychology of Selling.” Special offer: To receive your free copy of “Crunch Time!, just visit www.briantracy.com and click on the Crunch Time! icon. He can be reached at (858) 481-2977 or www.briantracy.com.