The Art. of Effective. Communication.

The Art: Communication is an art. You have to be skillful, intuitive and nuanced; and you have to learn the different strokes to use with different folks. Effective: If you're not effective, what's the point? Effectiveness is the barometer of any successful exchange.Communication: Ah, the key. What we hope to accomplish with every effort we put forth—clear, positive communication. 

Let's take a situation. You have what you think is a great idea that you'd like to present to your team. feel intimidated by one person on the team who inevitably seems to shoot down any new idea that comes from someone else. He does this in a very public, aggressive manner. You know in the past when confronted with this type response that you’ve had a tendency to clutch—to get increasingly quiet, avoid eye contact and apologize for something you would otherwise believe in and be proud of.

How can you change the outcome of your presentation this time?

There are, in fact, skills and techniques you can learn to help you through difficult conversations and situations in the workplace. For example, did you practice? Did you put stuffed animals in chairs in your living room and pretend they were your team? Did you anticipate tough questions and rebuttals and practice different responses to these imagined-yet-challenging queries?

You may go through three or four different approaches until you land on one that feels right. Then you should practice it several times until you become increasingly confident and comfortable. This is called rehearsing. Rehearsing is a technique used in theater, film and television—and it assures actors that the choices they make are best to reach their audiences. It’s also just one of the many techniques for you to consider the next time you’re presenting an idea to your team and you want to assure your success.

Image Courtesy of Shutterstock

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