The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said. Peter F. Drucker
That can seem like a bit of an odd statement at first. What is it that "isn't" being said? Research shows that the vast majority (93%) of the message interpretation is based on non-verbals. This would mean that our tone of voice, our facial expressions and our body language are where the real message lives.
The sad truth is that our education system, at least the public one, does very little to formally teach the skills of being a great communicator, particularly when it comes to listening. 45% of your time in a business setting is spent listening. As a leader, if you don't get the right message the first time, you will eat up a lot of time and resource trying to shift direction, priorities, and responsibilities, and often doing it wrong.
One article I read in the Harvard Business Review indicated that as much as 85% of all business problems related to poor or mis-communication. With this skill being so vital, why don't people spend more time on it? I think the challenge can be related to generationally.
Traditionalists believed that "No news was good news."
Boomers believe that feedback is done in the annual performance review.
Gen-Xers were without supervision a lot as youth and therefore look for feedback at the end of projects, but want to be left alone otherwise.
And, the Millennial generation communicated via technology.
It seems that each generation has had its struggles related to effective communication. The key is to personally accept responsibility for making yourself more effective in each of the critical aspects of communication. This is done through learning and through having an accountability partner.
I would strongly encourage you to attend a training on effective communication. I particularly encourage you to learn about active listening and non-verbal aspects of communication. Then, find someone that you trust and that you will listen to that can "read" you and let you know what you are really saying with your body, regardless of the words coming out of your mouth.
For more information on when MuRF will be conducting classes on effective communication, check out http://www.imurf.com.
To Your Success!