William Allen White
Positive Inspirational Success Stories
Secrets for successful communication
Everything we do in life requires communication with others. Success often hinges on how well we understand others and how well they can understand us. The greatest idea in the world is nothing until it is shared and developed.
1. Check your motive
Ask yourself, 'What is my motive for saying or writing this?' If your motive isn't positive or productive, you cannot expect a positive or productive response.
2. Get to the point
If you cannot summarize your message in 60 seconds, you may not understand it well enough to communicate it in more detail.
3. Stick to the point
Make it clear where you are going with your communication and stay with it. People do not like to be kept in the dark unless it's a mystery movie.
4. Remember that your body speaks volumes.
Up to ninety percent of communication is visual. When you speak, your listeners are watching to be sure that your facial and body clues match what you are saying.
5. Check your tone
The written word, in particular, is often much more harsh than intended. Let important written messages sit for a day before you send them and read them for tone as well as content.
6. Say what you mean and mean what you say
People, while trusting by nature, are very perceptive and can find any hint of insincerity or lack of credibility.
7. Listen first for understanding
To listen effectively you must care for those you're listening to:
Concentrate - focus on the speaker.
Acknowledge - through body language, nod your head occasionally or say uh-huh.
Respond - ask questions for clarification and interest.
Empathize - share in their emotions and feelings.
8. Practice, practice, practice
Writing and speaking, as arts, improve with study and practice.
9. Get help with tough communications
Bounce your ideas off friends and/or associates. They can provide a clarifying perspective for you.
10. Simplicity is better
Don't hide behind phrasing. Complex, wordy communications may leave understanding behind in an alphabetical dust. Choose clarification over obfuscation.
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