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The Art of Saying More With Less: Speak Smart & Short


Communication is when two people talk. But is "it" really just "it"?

What we want to do every time we talk or exchange messages with others is to share our ideas, give advice, express our opinions, and share or convey what we feel. In the same way, what we then expect is that those with whom we share ideas also convey their perspective on it.


Foto: Fauxels

The main problem with almost every conversation - communication - is that it is rarely effective. And while it's not a problem when we're having coffee with friends, it certainly is at work. Just remember the endless meetings after which you don't remember what it was about.

Sometimes we think we've communicated effectively just because we said what we wanted to say. But you should be aware that nothing is so simple that it cannot be misunderstood.

We communicate the least with words

Heard of the 7 percent rule? Communication is only seven percent of what is said, and 93 percent of our communication is not what we achieve with words. That is why it is important to work on effective communication. At work, we mostly communicate verbally, non-verbally and in writing.

Verbal communication is what is said, but it has elements that can reduce its effectiveness. It is not unimportant what the tone of the voice is, what the emphasis is on the words, and whether the diction is clear and understandable. Non-verbal communication is all that does not involve words. It's touch, look, hand movements, facial expressions, and body language... This part of communication has the most influence on those on the other side. Written communication is, of course, what we put on paper, and enter into a computer or mobile phone. But even though it seems to us that this is only what we would say transferred into written form, it is not so. Written content and spoken content are often two different worlds. Something that is written sounds strange when spoken, and what we say in written form looks clumsy and unclear.

How to communicate effectively?

Communication skills are one of the most important skills of every human being, but they are often neglected and we usually do not mention them in our resumes. But that's why most of the time at job interviews we show exactly how much and how well we speak, how we present ourselves to others, and whether we know how to present our other skills in the right way.

Listen

Excellent communication skills start with the ability to listen. It must lead to the information being correctly understood and communicated to others. A person who listens poorly will not be a good team leader, but neither will he be a good team member. And what's important - we don't need to listen in order to respond to the speaker, but to understand him.

Feel it

Immediately after listening comes reflection, interpretation or impression. After listening carefully, you can form your own opinions about what you hear and ask for clarification or give an opinion. And when you're talking to yourself, you expect those who are listening to you to answer something, rather than feeling like you're talking to a wall. It does not have to be said immediately, but only after a longer reflection returned to the speaker as feedback.

Make friends

Friendly communication that includes a pleasant tone, pleasant dynamics and politeness opens the possibility for dialogue and encourages the exchange of information. When those who listen have a pleasant feeling, it is easier for them to open up and express their opinions. Accessibility also helps communication. Without it, the one who makes the decisions will get important information only at the last moment, when there is already panic.

Being confident in communication is extremely important. Those who listen do not believe the content of what is said, but how it is said, especially if the speaker sounds like he believes what he is saying.

Talk less

Being clear and concise saves everyone time. This is something that is highly valued, especially at work. Clear information and instructions should not be drowned in a sea of redundant words and examples. The excess of the story always increases the number of questions surrounding it. In order to speak clearly and concisely, it is good to think before, prepare key things and put them on paper. Those listening will be very grateful for it. And one more thing, clear and concise communication does not mean that you should use abbreviations and informal speech.

Accept

Accepting feedback is just as important as giving it. It is not easy to receive criticism. Equally, weeks spent on the preparation of a project that someone cuts so much that they have to start from the beginning is not easy to accept, but it is easier to start again than to constantly fix something irreversibly bad along the way. Feedback must be understood and delivered as constructive criticism, not mockery. Criticism helps each of us to be better, to make our project better and to achieve what we want. Honesty is good, but diplomacy is also not out of place. Just as we are quick on the trigger with criticism, it is good that we are just as quick with praise and encouragement for team members or colleagues. On the other hand, yelling, passive aggression or visible frustration always comes back to whoever sends it. Patience and politeness leave relationships between people untouched and problems are solved much sooner.

Empathy

Openness to ideas, the ability to empathize, emotional intelligence and respect for the people with whom you have a dialogue is the right way for effective communication, receiving and giving information. Dismissing other people's ideas just because we don't believe them, see them from the other side, or don't like their message is not good for making the right decisions. Understanding and respecting the right of others to have an opinion and accepting others as persons is essential for a good work environment.

Choosing the medium of communication or the place of communication is also important. It's like interrupting via message. Some things can be said face to face and that alone, while others require a written form. It should also be taken into account whether the person we are talking to is busy with work, and what kind of news it is - bad or good.

The body tells the story

Body language is a key part of non-verbal communication. Non-verbal communication is the biggest part of communication and it is used well to reinforce an idea or story. Hand movements, eye contact, and body position enter the subconscious of those who follow us.

Believe

It is important to build trust with your colleagues. Writing a joint report on a problem can increase the level of that trust. For the growth of trust, it is important to be honest and communicate that, and not to promise what you cannot deliver.

Ask

Every communication must be peppered with questions. They show interest in the topic, and it is equally important to ask the right questions to clear up possible doubts. Asking open-ended questions that give answers that go beyond "No" and "Yes" engages those who are asked and can get a picture of how they see things around them.

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