Melvin Feller Looks at How to Communicate Effectively
Melvin Feller Business Ministries Group in Burkburnett and Dallas Texas and Lawton Oklahoma. Our mission is to call and equip a generation of Christian entrepreneurs to do business as ministry. We provide workshops and resources that help companies discover how to do business God’s way. When the heart of a business is service rather than self it can be transformed into a fruitful business ministry earning a profit and being of service to the community and their customers. Melvin Feller is currently pursuing another graduate degree in business organizations.
I spend a lot of time trying to be a good communicator. Sometimes I am better at it than at other times but I keep at it. In my profession I must be. Communication is key and words matter.
Despite technological advances, trying to communicate effectively can be frustrating. Trying to connect via e-mail or phone can be tricky when everyone is so busy. In addition, to be honest, there are some people I wish I never had either to speak with.
We have all had those challenges, which seem to be compounded by the increasing stress in our workplace. From the co-worker who is rude and abrasive to the boss who yells, we often have a tough time communicating effectively. Still, there are some ways to not only stand your ground against verbal assaults, but to make sure your message is being heard clearly and directly in this fast-paced communication environment. Try:
Being straightforward. When you are direct — whether giving positive or negative feedback it is appreciated by most people. Begin your statement with “I” and deliver it in a way that is not mean-spirited. Once you start dishing out the b.s. and being less than truthful, people will be less willing to communicate with you, and that will impact your ability to do your job.
Learning to say “no” and meaning it. Too often, we say “no” but our whole demeanor conveys our doubt. Learn to say “no” when a request is first made, then state your reason for the denial. Do not fidget, and make eye contact. This shows that you are serious about what you are saying.
Spotting the mixed message. Haven’t we all dealt with the person at work that smiles or laughs while delivering an insult? For example, this person may say to you “So, how did you enjoy your two-hour lunch?” That is when you calmly look the person in the eye and say, “I appreciate your candor, but I think I’m the best judge of how I use my time.” Act as if the message were straightforward, or that you are taking it literally: “Thanks for asking. The lunch was great.” If this fails, you can always become the broken record, repeating that there seems to be a problem: “I feel uncomfortable when you ask me about my two-hour lunch. I’d like you to let me know directly if my going out for a long lunch is a problem from your point of view.”
Staying calm. When under a verbal assault, do not offer justifications, apologies or qualifiers, because there is no way to win with a person who yells opinions. (This is especially true if it is the boss.) Just keep repeating in your mind that the person is acting like a jerk, and keep breathing. In these cases, you might try admitting that there is some truth to what the person is saying, which can buy you some time and help turn down the intensity.
Stay on Message. Be clear exactly what ideas you are trying to express or the message you are trying to convey to the other person or group. What do you most want them to understand?
Make It a Two-Way Conversation. Try to really hear and understand where others are coming from. What are they trying to say? What messages are they trying to get across to you? Ask yourself, “Do I really understand them?” Pay special attention not just, to what they are saying, but to what is not being said.
Making Sense of It All. Always ask yourself, “Does what I’m saying make sense? Does the feedback I am receiving make sense? What is the perspective they are trying to get across? Does it make sense that they have this perspective?” When both parties in the conversation are truly able to say they understand or that “it makes sense,” clear and effective communication has been achieved.
You’re Responsible for Any Failure to Communicate. Remember, as the primary communicator you are 100% responsible for the other person’s understanding of the communication. In other words, if you do not feel that you are being understood, you have not completed the job of communicating. You must re-communicate your position to ensure that you have been properly heard.
Can You Hear Them Now. Do you really hear what others are saying? To really listen requires your full attention and being able to feed back to them exactly what you have heard them say.
Repetition, Repetition, Repetition. An equally effective way to make sure others understand exactly what you are communicating is to ask them to repeat back their interpretation of what has been said or asked of them. In order to guarantee the results or reaction you want, you need to make sure that your audience can give you a clear explanation of what is being required of them.
Respect Your Audience as You Respect Yourself. To be a clear and effective communicator, you must first recognize that your message is not just about you or what you want. It is about “what’s in it for the audience.” You must both believe in your message and sincerely care about the needs and the unique perspectives of those you are communicating to if you truly want to be heard.
After all, they took the time and trouble to hear what you have to say, so it is equally important to recognize and respect that we each have different perspectives based on our positions, motivations, and needs.
The virtually endless benefits of clear and effective communication are not hard to achieve as long you as keep your message simple enough to be understood, interesting enough to be remembered, and, most importantly, respectful enough of others to be respected.
Finally, remind yourself in difficult communication situations at work that when someone is rude, belligerent, yelling or insulting, there may be more at play than you know. For example, the person may be having a personal crisis, and you responding in kind may be something you come to regret.
Say to yourself: “This is difficult, but I believe in myself. It may be upsetting, but I can deal with it and getting angry only lets the other person win. I can’t control what they say, but I can control my reaction.”
Melvin Feller Business Consultants Ministries Group in Texas and Oklahoma. Melvin Feller founded Melvin Feller Business Consultants Group Ministries in the 1970s to help individuals and organizations achieve their specific Victory. Victory as defined by the individual or organization are achieving strategic objectives, exceeding goals, getting results or desired outcomes. He has extensive experience assisting businesses achieve top and bottom line results. He has broad practical experience creating WINNERS in many organizations and industries. He has hands-on experience in executive leadership, operations, logistics, sales, program management, organizational development, training, and customer service. He has coached teams to achieve results in strategic planning, business development, organizational design, sales, and customer response and business process improvement. He has prepared and presented many workshops nationally and internationally.