He walked into the room without shaking anyone’s hand, came quickly to the podium conveying to the crowd he was in a hurry. He spoke quick and terse with a know-it-all attitude. He went over his allotted time without apology making exaggerated claims of his success then briskly walked out the door.
The chatter around the room after his presentation was a mix of relief and anger. Relief that he was finished and gone – anger that he was brazen and narcissistic.
Communication is one of the most important qualities within the element of being an author, pastor, business person or speaker. Yes, as illustrated above, there is a lot of difference between a speaker and a communicator.
A communicator doesn’t become prolific in well versed words, flaunting his education and attitude to gather or collect an audience but rather takes an interest in people while dissecting hard truths and offering small pieces as a dainty delicatessen. A communicator builds a friend list, tells stories and cares for people while probing their emotions and thoughts.
Here are my suggestion for Five Qualities of an Effective Communicator
Our body language speaks louder than our words.
Multitudes of studies have been done on body language and slumping, twiddling, texting and a far off look are adverse body styles to communication. Leaning into the person, hanging onto their words with a soft smile and a gentle nod brings attention to an all new level. Social media has reversed communication into words and videos but real communication “leans into” the conversation.
Keeping in mind that personal space is necessary, so look away briefly, don’t stare and don’t make them feel uncomfortable by leaning too much. As Leonardo Da Vinci said, “An arch consists of two weaknesses, which, leaning on each other, become a strength.”
There is never a person so bright that there can’t be another light bulb in the room.
Teaching and learning should go hand in hand. Asking questions during a conversation is needful for receptacle learning. Agreeing, debating (not arguing) and questioning develop a well-rounded conversation. “Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t,” states Bill Nye.
Becoming emotionally and uniformly attached to the conversation (not the personal exactly) brings learning to the forefront and helps us retain the details of the conversation.
God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason someone once quipped.
Painful but true. We are dedicated talkers and many love listening to their own self talk. Listening is a skill – an important skill. Listening bonds friends, brings relationships to the table and develops on going communication. Andy Stanley teaches, “Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.”
Listening without charging into our answer but remunerating the answer quietly and purposefully after we have fully listened demonstrates great respect for the speaker.
Eye contact may be the most important communication ability we possess.
Looking away does more damage to the attention span than most any other distraction in the communication process. To look intently and interestingly is an art and must be perfected by communicators.
Someone once said, “Looking into someone’s eyes changes the entire conversation.” A long stare is uncomfortable so look away occasionally but not long enough to lose the train of thought or the line of thought.
To communicate is the first step of friendship.
We won’t personally like everyone we speak to but if we communicate with them long enough there should and most likely will be a thin thread of truth to where we might find common ground. You might not personally like them but like something they say. Like has variables and levels and definitions but they all involve people.
Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or counseling advice.