The secret to effective communication
Effective communication comes from knowing when to listen and knowing when to speak. However, you have to dig a little deeper for the secret. The catalyst for effective communication is reflection. The most valuable moment we have is when we are neither speaking nor listening. It is the moment when we balance consideration of another person’s viewpoint with that of our own. It is when we consider what has been said in the context of where, when, why and how it has been said.
At the heart of it, effective communication is all about thinking to understand. Small children are often told to think before they speak. What we are really asking them to do is to take the time to understand.
Walk the walk
Of course, effective communication is not just about talking. It is about doing. As a copywriter, it is hard for me to admit that actions speak louder than words. As a strategist, I know that what we do is a reflection of who we are and how we communicate.
I’ll go further into authenticity in my next blog post. However, in brief, authenticity is about capturing the essence of who we are and making sure our actions and words support this principle. For a company, it comes down to deciding on the attributes of your brand and making sure that your audience relates to and trusts in these attributes.
When it comes to walking the walk, we need to set expectations and live up to them. When we do this, we build long-term connections. On a personal level, these connections add value to our experiences. For businesses, connections lead to sincere engagement with our target market and increased brand loyalty, as well as a leverage opportunity to convert sales and to enlist new advocates for our brand. When businesses set clear expectations and live up to them, they also build connections within the company, revitalising the culture and giving purpose.
A few initial questions to ask yourself
- Do you understand what your audience wants to hear, as well as what you want to say?
- Could you quickly identify the essence of who you are/the attributes of your brand?
- Are your business activities aligned with these attributes?