Tuesday Tip: Communicating with Success
Being an effective communicator is such an important skill in business. A former manager of mine, who was very influential in my career life, shared a model of communication feedback years ago. This model has a 4-pronged approach. I'm sharing it with you now so that you may add it to your resources for effective communication.
- Explain your observations to the other person.
- Describe what you felt or thought.
- Own your feelings / thoughts and take the other person "off the hook".
- Ask for feedback from the other person.
- In yesterday's meeting, you expressed dissatisfaction with the project outcomes and raised your voice when doing so.
- I thought that we had met all of the specifications and felt surprised, unprepared and uncomfortable with this part of the presentation.
- You probably didn't know that it was the first time our team was hearing this information. Therefore, you most likely didn't know that I felt surprised and unprepared.
- Would you let me know your thoughts? Thanks.
There are some additional key points to keep in mind. Taking time to prepare for a feedback conversation is important. I often prepare and then run it by a trusted colleague before scheduling the feedback meeting. When communicating, the message (what I say) may not be received exactly the way I intended. Therefore, I recommend checking in along the way to insure that the message is clearly understood. I try to ask clarifying questions like "Would you be more specific?". And, practicing active listening (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_listening), a tool often used in conflict resolution, is very helpful. Giving and receiving effective feedback takes a lot of practice. With time, it does become more comfortable and you find that you have positive outcomes.
Further resources for Active Listening:
Have a great week~