nobody ListeningI work with a company in India who does some of the programming for our online systems development and management program called YODA. Many of you are familiar with it. Bragging for a moment, it’s actually pretty good with rave reviews from those who are actively using it. It saves massive amounts of time when it comes to documenting and managing your company systems, operation manuals and day to day employee tasks. Let me know if you’d like to know more about it. Okay‚Ķcommercial over.

So last night I am on a call with the developers via Skype and I started to get a little frustrated. Although they speak English pretty well, they still have some rather thick accents. That coupled with a poor connection and delays in the signal back and forth, it was hard to communicate and share some of the improvements I would like to make to the program.

I believe they felt the same way because we had to strategize a different approach for me to get the information to them that they needed for the project.

Themes run rampant in my life it seems because yesterday morning, in a conversation with one of my Certified Level 7 Systems Coordinators, we had a conversation about effective communication.

Unless you live in a bubble, a hermit, if you will, you will be communicating with people. Communication is an art and a science. Few people consider the impact that poor communication has when it comes to producing results. Effective communication can make all the difference in ensuring that people have a thorough understanding of our perspective and expectations.

In business particularly, if we aren’t communicating well, there is a strong likelihood that people will not be operating effectively and efficiently. We simply won’t get the best possible results.

I find it funny how people take the skills of communicating for granted. In fact, few people even think of communication with intention. They just go on and on and on and never consider if people are even receiving and understanding their message.

Some people don’t listen with intention so they can fully understand.

They expect people to read their minds and then get upset when others don’t meet their expectation.

When it comes to communication, we all have responsibilities associated with it.

Yes, you have a responsibility when it comes to communication if you want to do it well.

It really comes down to 2 things.

1- Communicate well so others fully understand you.

2- Listen well so we fully understand others.

Communicating well requires that we understand and accept the reality that not everyone speaks your language. I am not talking literally, although that could be the case if you are talking to developers in India. People process and receive information differently. They have different perspectives. They see and hear things through different lenses.

You know what I mean. You’ve probably had a conversation with someone that you immediately clicked. Like you just got each other. Related. Understood.

And I’m sure you’ve spoke with others and it felt tortuous to engage in a conversation with them.

The problem is not you. AND the problem is not them. It’s just differences.

If you wish to communicate well, seek to bridge the gap, understand differences and discover ways to adapt and adjust. Once you’ve communicated, confirm your message has been received and understood.

The same is true with listening. I know I need to continually focus on listening with the intention of understanding. I ask questions. Seek clarity. Repeat what I’ve heard so I am sure I heard and understand.

Here’s my challenge for you. Ask yourself theses question as you engage others in all forms of communication with others:

“Am I doing a good job of conveying information?”

“Is the message being received?”

“Do I understand what others are saying to me?”

You might find it takes a little more work but the results that stem from building quality connections and clarity with others will be well worth the time and focus.