Have you ever considered that the problem might not be everyone else’s inability to understand what you’re saying, but could potentially be the way you communicate?
Here are three major factors that will improve how you communicate:
1. Clarity: Speaking in a manner that is clear is step one to being understood. Some limiting factors to the ability to speak clearly are things such as articulation, verbiage, and preparedness. If you mumble your words, speak over someone’s head, or are simply not confident in the information you are sharing due to being unprepared you will not be understood and communication will break down. Speaking at a 7th grade reading level, slowing down to annunciate words more clearly, and being prepared to share the information you are trying to communicate are three things you can do to become more clear in your communication.
2. Conciseness: Over-sharing too much information, or unneeded information, will dilute the point you are trying to make. To become more concise, ask yourself if what you are about to communicate is NECESSARY to sharing the full picture of what you are wanting to share. Look for times that you begin repeating yourself and simply stop, as sharing the same point over and over will cause your listener to tune out. Try to keep each conversation limited to only a few, very impactful words, similar to a stick of dynamite, small in size but powerful in action!
3. Care: People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. Information that is shared out of selfish ambition or anger will never truly be communicated well. Half of all communication is in the recipient’s willingness to hear the information being shared. A caring heart, coupled with carefully picked words, will be incredibly effective at impacting people’s lives.
Now that we have gone over what goes into proper communication, what happens when one area is left out or is poorly utilized?
When we are CLEAR and CONCISE but not caring, we can get our point across swiftly, at the expense of other’s feelings. This will indefinitely halt any potential for the progress you desired in the beginning.
When we are CLEAR and CARING but not concise, we lose people’s interest, attention, and possibly their respect. They will not hear your point as they will be confused by the multiple ways you tried to share one idea, and will be stuck trying to find the differences between each idea rather than the similarity.
When we are CARING and CONCISE but not clear, we make no point at all. We send someone away, thinking they understood what we said; yet we simply confuse them and potentially hurt them through unclear communication and lack of definition as to what the true issue is.
So, after reading all of this information, which area do you need to focus on for the next season in life? Do you need to be more concise? Clear? Caring?
Practice on your co-workers before your spouse. They get to WORK with you; your spouse has to LIVE with you ☺
Alan Morse serves as one of our executive pastors at Next Level Church. His role allows him to oversee our location pastors and create systems and processes which enable them to do their job effectively. He and his wife Kate live in Somersworth, New Hampshire. In his free time, Alan likes to play winter golf, play summer hockey, and eat meals made of food.