Class SixMastering Communication
Goals of Lesson
1. To clarify effective communication
2. To explore how you communicate.
3. To explore how you listen.
4. Write down your ideas on communication and then write a blog article about what is effective communication in your own words for your clients.
What Is Your Communication Style?
Download the worksheet and test it out to use with your clients? Determine if it is effective for you.
How Can Communication be Most Effective?
Effective communication is a crucial, foundational skill for a consultant. Information in this class focuses on a consultant’s communication style with clients like parents and families.
Leaders like Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, and Warren Buffett shared the gift of creating and selling their specific vision through their communication skills. The following factors may affect your communication style:
Knowing your audience to be able to adjust your approach to a parent, a teen, a parenting group, or a child. You might observe the tone of your voice in providing parenting advice.
As a new Special Needs Teacher, who tested children and then conveyed testing results to teachers and parents, my tendency was to talk at people. The more I explained, my voice took on a higher pitch. In hindsight, others could have perceived the higher pitch as anxiety and demanding attention. During the second meeting with a different group of parents, my supervisor recorded my voice. Listening to my louder tone and fast speed in speaking was embarrassing.
I learned to follow specific steps before a parent-teacher meeting or before I taught a small group of local parents:
- I allowed time to wind down, take a walk around the schoolyard, and clear my mind. I wanted to be fully present in a calming way for the parents who rushed from work and through freeway traffic to be at the meeting.
- I practiced and accomplished lowering my tone of voice and speaking slower. I did not want to rush through test scores and school performance when talking with parents.
- My supervisor suggested I give parents copies of all test scores to review and then be quiet until the parents asked whatever questions came up.
- This was a clever technique of the supervisor to remain silent while parents read information, and then remain attentive in answering all their questions.
To consultants and teachers, who are used to providing advice, how do you handle the silence in conversations? And do you allow for the silent spaces in parenting conversations?
Setting the Tone
The most important aspect of leading the conversation is to set the tone. A positive, upbeat, can-do attitude delivers consistently positive messages. Even when situations are negative, good communication skills will be able to reframe the issues in such a way as to maintain a connection.
Structure the Message for the Receiver
Since mutual understanding is our goal, you are the front line leader in the consulting business. You must create messages that resonate with colleagues or customers. This may sound somewhat confusing, but consider that, too often, we spend more time thinking about what we want to say rather than thinking about what others need to hear. That is the difference.
Avoid Irrelevant Details
Do you know someone who tells a story and includes so much irrelevant detail that you want to scream? To send effective messages, remember to focus only on the relevant information, data or contexts. Baseball Hall of Famer Yogi Berra is often credited for saying, “You can observe a lot just by watching.” The same is true in communication. As you create and transmit your communication, watch for the reactions of your listeners. Be prepared to read the reactions and adjust your communication, if necessary, to reach intended results.
Focus on Results
Yes, I know this is a repeat, but this is the most important component of sending messages. Remember to always keep the results, the ultimate outcome of the communication, in your mind as you communicate with your clients and colleagues.
How to speak so that people want to listen | Julian Treasure
Rita Owens, Senior Lecturer, Carroll School of Management
Better Listening Through Asking Questions
Use These Materials
Get In Touch with Instructor:
Dr. Caron Goode
28450 Corte Portofino, Menifee, CA 92584