You can hear me…but are you LISTENING?

The backbone of putting forth our ideas and ensuring these ideas are followed is effective communication.  Just because we’re talking doesn’t mean we’re communicating.  In fact, very often the more we talk, the less people listen.  So what can we do to improve how we get our messages really heard by others?

Communication is more than talk.  Communication is a strategic process.  Communication makes us… if it’s effective.  It breaks us when it’s not.  What can we do to ensure that our message is not only heard, but followed?  Through a strategic process.  A process is a structured method.  When we apply method to our communication process, we improve the opportunities for our audience to listen to us and follow our ideas.

Ask yourself these four questions before you try to convince others to follow your ideas:

  • What is the intended result of this idea? In other words, what are you trying to accomplish?  If you cannot get others to “see” and “feel” your idea, they may hear you but they won’t be listening…
  • What are the benefits of this idea? Explain the beneficial outcomes of this idea and how they affect everyone.  Ask them to explain it back to you…
  • What are some proofs and/or data that this idea is valid? Do your homework! Research to support your idea; just saying it will work isn’t convincing…
  • What do others think of this idea?  Provide feedback and backing from others who support the idea…

We can be creative problem-solvers and idea-generators.  Unless we get others to see, feel and be as enthusiastic as we are, our ideas will remain just that…ideas, with no results.

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