Clarity in Communications

Phone call with a can

Have you ever sent an email to the wrong person? Or when you speak to a colleague, the words just seem to lead to more miscommunication?

We’ve all done it before!

Once you’ve sent or spoken these words, there’s no taking it back.

Language is the basis for building collaborative relationships, and yet many times there are gaps that leave us filling in the picture with assumptions and guesses. It’s time to take the guesswork out of communications.

Here are some tips for clear communications:

1. Local and National Customs.

In some places of the world, looking eye to eye creates clear communication and engaging in conversation. In other places, looking at someone in the eye is considered rude. There are community-wide customs and terminology as well. Know where you are and communication customs in that community.

2. Shed Distractions.

Trying to listen to a conversation while your cell phone is going off is nearly impossible. Turn the phone off, shut down the computer, and close the door.

3. Listen to What Isn’t There.

There’s what we say, and what we don’t say. Can you pick up what someone isn’t telling you? Silence, and what’s “said” in silence can be more important than words, at times.

4. Sharing Your Values.

Sharing your values may be different than shared values. If something is important to you, than speak your truth. Yes, your community will need to find a shared truth, a shared vision, but each voice is important in the community. Everyone matters and no one matters, at the same time.

5. Ask for clarification.

If you feel that there’s miscommunication afloat, ask or offer clarification. Did you mean…? Would you like me to…? Here’s what I hear, is this what you mean?

Miscommunications will happen. What then?

Sometimes we can clear up the matter quickly, and other times, we have to let it go. We put our hearts on the line, we create boundaries, and we might even cross them.

Relationships begin with thinking of others, and being clear with ourselves.