I had the opportunity to have lunch with one of my new favorite authors, Geoffrey Tumlin, while I was speaking in Austin recently. He has a book out called “Stop Speaking, Start Communicating” and I highly recommend you pick it up if you are interested in being more successful in all areas of your life.
He is a military man with a good heart and has dedicated his life to study the art of communication. His new book gives, “…counterintuitive strategies for learning how to interact productively and meaningfully in today’s digital world.” Something we all can improve on!
Lose your friends!
Tumlin explains that, “Important relationship are being trumped by people you barely know!” Just because you hit the “like” button does not mean you are connecting. Humans are social animals. We need to feel connected. Tumlin writes, “Today it is possible to accumulate scores of friends and still feel lonely, be connected to hundreds of people and feel like no one is listening and spend hours at work, sending and responding to countless messages, but still feeling unproductive.” It is because we are focused on technology and not people. “The problem with a more tech-centered view of communication is that it encourages us to expect too much from our device and too little from each other.” You should start communicating more on a human bases so you can build real relationships, feel connected to others and feel like your voice is actually being heard! If you are feeling disconnected from others, lose your “friends” online who don’t add meaning or value to your life and focus on those around you. Tumlin says, “The main reason to prioritize isn’t to squeeze people out of your life; it’s to make sure that the most important people stay in it.”
In my opinion, communication is the foundation to all of your success. To many people are talking rather than effectively communicating! Talking is you getting your voice heard. Communicating is having all parties who are part of the conversation understand what it is you are saying! The better you are at being able to effectively communicate what it is you want, the quicker you will be at receiving and reaching the goals you have for yourself, your company and your family. Think about a relationship you have built over time, that you lost one time due to one or two sentences? If you stop talking and start planning on ways to react to certain situations, you might be able to build better relationships and create lasting ones. Stop talking and don’t focus on what you want to say, focus on what you want to accomplish. The better communicator you are the better relationship you build and the better life you have.
Ignore your (telltale) heart
When communication problems arise, many of us just want to start talking instead of preparing what we want to say. According to ProFound, last year, productivity losses resulting from miscommunication costs companies $37 billion, or about $26,000 per employee per year, in the US and UK alone. We need to learn strategies and techniques that can help us improve our listening skills, ask the right questions to produce the right answers and minimize miscommunication across multiple communication channels like email, texting, face-to-face and social media. When we are able to effectively communicate to others, we improve productivity, we create clarity and we save money. All strategic communications (including the unexpected ones) benefit from preparation. Take time to think about what you want to say and how you want to say it to minimize conflict, confusion and miscommunication between those you are speaking to.