Thursday, August 23, 2012

If you want to be heard, understand your audience

I was just reminded how important it is to know your audience. Meaning the person that is listening to what you are saying. If you want to make sure you are heard you have to make sure the person you are talking to can listen. If you have a really over the top style and are speaking to someone that is really laid back, they will stop listening to you immediately. You will never really communicate with that person. To be most effective you have to gauge how the person you are talking to will best accept what you are saying. I call it being a chameleon.

In my work as a project manager, I have to constantly test the waters to find the best way to approach a conversation. I want the recipient of my message to walk away motivated so I look to them to guide how I am going to best proceed.

So many times people consider that since they've said something then they have communicated. But that's not true communication, if what you've said isn't heard then you've said nothing at all. Always make sure the circle of communication is complete.

Steven Covey said it best in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. ok Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood.

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