Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Want to get your message across, start listening!

By: Cole Buergi, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

Communication overload is happening more and more every day. It seems that everyone is being bombarded with information, in all forms including verbal, email, texts and social media. In some ways that’s great because we can get much more work completed in a shorter amount of time than 20 or more years ago.

The problem is, with the amount of information coming at us, are we really taking the time we need to truly listen and understand what the message is?

That’s important because, in order to be an effective communicator, you need to hear and process what others are saying. Unfortunately, in today’s fast paced world, thoroughly listening to someone and truly processing what they are conveying goes against most people’s desire to reply instantly to everyone, all the time. Right or wrong, it’s the world that we live in.

I can remember a time (and, yes, I’m old enough to say that now) when the only people you talked with were the ones you were spending time with at that moment. And you listened to what they had to say and responded appropriately. Now you put a group of 20 somethings in a room, and it seems like the only person they are not talking to is the person sitting next to them. Most, if not all of them, will be on their smart phones and only partially engaged in what’s transpiring around them. 

I understand that’s not all bad. In a sense, it almost allows us to be in two or more places at once. However, at some point in everyone’s life, there will be a need to be able to communicate face-to-face, particularly when it’s their boss. And, in these situations, you better be listening to what they are saying and be able to communicate accordingly. 

Not too many employers I know will accept an emoji smiley face as a response to a question.

What do you do to take time to truly absorb the important messages you receive and prepare to respond?

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