by Silvia Zsoldos, Ph.D., DTM
Eons ago, sharing information was relatively simple. It occurred either between individuals or groups. It was delivered orally, by messenger, or written. A message could also be delivered by a series of sequential fires, horns, drum beats, and other non-verbal instruments.
Today we have added many complications. International exchanges include not just one person to another, but business to business, and computer to computer. AI to AI algorithms have their own problems.
Consider that the Oxford English Dictionary lists 171,476 full word entries, plus some 470,000 obsolete entries, and has to add new words daily. Merriam Webster does not stint on words, either. On top of which, a single word may have several meanings, and last but not least; when, where and how do you disentangle the correct, clear purpose if you need to deal with another language, based on another culture?
How much time gets lost? What is the cost of misunderstandings to you personally? How about your organization?
Yet, regardless of complexity, communication is the glue that binds us together. And we need to simplify it.
Success requires that you integrate – at all levels – the various skills that comprise communication.
In face-to-face exchanges, words count for only 7 percent and tone of voice about 40 percent of the situation. Body language is the most important and accounts for over 50 percent. Whenever we feel that body language does not match the message we become skeptical.
A telephone call is limited to two out of three of the “influencers.” When the visual half is missing, communication becomes more challenging.
And, when only 7 percent is left, what then?
This anonymous statement highlights ever-present communication problems:
- What I think,
- What I want to say,
- What I believe I am saying,
- What I say,
- What you think,
- What you want to hear,
- What you believe you understand,
- What you want to understand,
- What you understood
There are at least nine possibilities for misunderstanding.
“What I want to say” and “what you want to hear” may be poles apart. However, “what I believe I am saying” and “what you believe you understand” can be improved with LISTENING skills.
Awareness of the pitfalls can help clarify and simplify interactions. Success Programs helps you focus so that you avoid further pitfalls.
In addition to weaving basic communication skills into Success Programs, programs, we also can help you to look at the following problem areas:
- Public speaking
- Individual interactions