I love the music from My Fair Lady, and my favorite song from it is “I Could Have Danced All Night”. I came across an intriguing quote from George Bernard Shaw, the author of the play, where he said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
So frequently we have communicated something of importance to someone; yet, they are unaware of exactly what we said. The meaning was lost in the words that we used. The intent was not conveyed. The recipient was focused on another aspect of the topic. Suddenly, what we thought was clearly stated has been lost in the wind, leaving both the sender and receiver at odds on what was really said.
For those who tuned in last week, I said I would share how a communication concept has changed the way I think and talk with others. Prior to using this communication tool, I would approach important conversations with the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have done unto you. I would think through what I would want to know and how I would want the details laid out. This method often did not yield the result for which I was hoping.
Since learning about this tool and practicing it over the past ten years, I now use the platinum rule for communication: Do unto others as they would have done unto themselves. It really is as simple as respecting the fact that different people appreciate different types of approaches in their communications. I now recognize the individual who needs to talk about their weekend before we jump into deeper conversation. I also recognize those who have no desire to share their private stories but want to dive straight into the facts of our meeting.
So, no matter whether you are presenting to a group of decision makers, articulating the value you bring in a job interview, or establishing relationships with new team members, communicating in each person’s desired method will allow your message to heard. End the illusion of communicating by applying the platinum rule. Package your message in a way that your recipient will be sure to hear it.
Lesley provides individualized coaching to professionals who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers. She helps them uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world. Lesley has helped professionals from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education. Schedule a free introductory session with Lesley today and learn how you can enhance your communication skills.