From Boring Monologues to Successful and Dynamic Communication
The communication age has resulted in many positive advancements but has also created a barrier of white noise that makes it hard to effectively connect and communicate with others. This barrier consists of the thousands of messages we see and hear everyday, and overcoming it requires a specialized effort to maximize connection, meaning and retention.
The myriad of tools at our disposal – cell phones, netbooks, text messaging, etc. – seem to make the lines of communication more open. While these tools are largely positive, they don’t really foster one-on-one human interaction. Using technology we are communication more, but the art of effective communication through human connection is being lost. And this is bad news for success in business, which still depends on that human connection dynamic for effective communication.
The key to effective connection is using Dynamic Communication to create a dialogue, rather than a monologue. Dynamic Communicators can quickly tailor their message and delivery style to that of their audience, transforming what would be one-way monologues into engaging dialogues. This empowers them to create better understanding and increased message retention.
Think of it this way: If you are an extroverted, gregarious person communicating with someone who is introverted and quiet, is there a chance that your communication styles will clash? Absolutely!
And this holds true for all communication styles. The problem isn’t that there are multiple communication styles – it’s that most people communicate from a static point of view and aren’t able to adapt their style.
The premise behind this approach is realizing that people are truly different; in addition to individual fingerprints and DNA, we each receive and deliver information differently. This means that the key to effective communication is to realize styles differ and to approach people in ways that work for them – thus ensuring a legitimate connection.
So how do we do this? By using a five-step process:
Recognize & Embrace Differences
Before approaching someone, know that his communication style may be different from yours. Don’t take offense if they aren’t as talkative as you; they may be shy, quiet and introverted. Or don’t be taken aback if you’re a quiet, reserved person and they want to “chew your ear off;” they’re extroverted and enjoy connecting with people.
Create an Environment for Dialogue, Not Monologue
Create an environment for dialogue, not monologue. Instead of launching into a speech, reach out first by asking questions to get to know the other person. This gives others a chance to open up and see you as patient and sincere. People enjoy talking about themselves, so ask open-ended question that let them expound, such as “What drew you to this line of work?” Closed ended questions (those that require a “yes” or “no” answer) give you no feedback or dialogue whatsoever.
Listen & Read
Listening is one of the most underrated skills in our culture, and so few are truly good at it. Often we’re forming our next statement while people talk, instead of focusing on their words. While listening, read what you hear by recognizing how others communicate – learning their style. Once you’ve read their communication style, you can adapt yours.
Adapt Your Communication Style
This doesn’t mean to change who you are as a person, but to become more appealing to the other person. If you’re extroverted and talkative, but the person you’re conversing with is introverted and shy, you must recognize this and adapt accordingly. If you project a more laid-back style, you will be more relatable to them.
Close the Communication Gap
Once your styles are in sync, the dialogue will open up; as you adapt to the other person he will feel comfortable and open up. Communication styles don’t always clash, but when they do, the faster you can adapt tot he other person’s style, the sooner the connection can happen and the real dynamic communication can begin.
Additionally, use these techniques when communicating with different styles:
- If someone is direct, to the point of forceful, be direct and to the point; don’t mince words
- If someone is talkative, friendly or gregarious, engage him by being friendly and talkative
- If someone is relaxed, modest or shy, move casually, take your time and be sincere
- If someone is conservative, analytical or deliberative, approach him directly, but take your time; be patient, fact-based and go at his pace
The above actions are those we can all take to become better communicators. Leverage technology’s advances, but know that we still must work with others to accomplish our goals. And those who can connect, communicate and effectively interact with others will be more successful than those who can’t. This is indeed a differentiating point now and will be even more so in the future as technology continues to progress.
Business owners and entrepreneurs who master the art of effective dynamic communication and become Dynamic Communicators differentiate themselves for success. They create dialogues rather than monologues, which forges stronger bonds with staff and customers and in turn leads to a more successful organization.