Sunday, September 28, 2014

Communicating Tip So you Are Not Talking At Someone

"Well, I told you!?"  How many times do we tell our family, friends and coworker something, think that they heard it and find out they have no recollection of it?  For me, this happens many times.  I tend to be in a rush, talk very fast and assume that everyone is in a rush and wants the short version.  This is not always the case.  Speaking is the act of verbalizing, but it does not necessarily mean that communication occurred.

While I still have the habit of talking quickly, I have tried to acquire another habit of pausing.  Pausing means taking a purposeful break in a conversation.  When you take the pause break, it is a great way to calm down, to consider what is actually being said and to really land the point of a message.  The pause is the best way to highlight the most important part of your communication, so plan and time it for effect. 

Sometimes, we have not planned the point of our communication or we are not really sure about the point of the communication.  The pause still has benefits in these situations too.  A pause makes us slow down our speech flow so we can find the important point.  It can allow us a moment to soothe our nervousness if we are running on a little too much and a little too fast.  The pause is chance to take a breath.  Breathing is one of the best ways to calm the nervous system and lower stress hormone levels.

Use the speech pause by checking in with your audience (even if it is only one person).  Asking someone, "what are your thoughts, so far"  shows the other person you care about communication and are not ordering them around.  It has the additional benefit of getting time to consider if you really communicated your point well.  Take the time to get the feedback and make sure your point was actually heard.  Your communication will hit its mark and save you a lot of aggravation later.

Stay healthy & well,

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