Do you know how to study SMART?
The Precursor to Effective Communication.
We spend years of our lives completing our primary, secondary and tertiary education. Along the way, me meet hundreds of people. We constantly talk to members of our family and friends. Yet, when we finally become a leader in the workplace, people say we don’t know how to communicate effectively. How is this even possible? How is this even acceptable? I’ve been talking to people all my life!
Don’t worry. I understand your frustration. In fact, once upon a time, I was in the same position. That of disbelief. It was not until I became a Helpdesk Analyst that I truly understood what it means to communicate. I understood it so well that I became really good at it (with awards to back it up of course). However, I did not achieve that success alone. I was properly guided.
We live in a world where people are in a hurry to say something. “I need to tweet about it first!”, “I need to blog about it first!” and “I need to post a video on YouTube about it first!”. Observation has become a lost art. A lot of people will say that effective communication is all about speaking and listening actively. I say observation is more important than either. Everyone can have an opinion. Not everyone can have a thought process carefully aligned to an opinion.
So what is exactly that we are meant to observe? The simple answer is patterns. The more complicated answer is algorithms. The is a distinct reason why people behave the way they do. Difficult people exist not because they want to be, but at some point, someone gave up communicating with them. Emphasis on communicating, not talking. These people are out there in your workplace. It is your job to lead them.
Identifying patterns and restructuring your communication approach is the key to leadership communication. It is no longer good enough to “Talk the talk”. You must learn to “Craft the talk”. When you understand how to do this, you can influence someone’s action at a subconscious level, and that can be a powerful asset!
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