ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

Lisa Rubinstein
Lisa Rubinstein Lisa Rubinstein is the founder and CEO of the Institute for Human Potential, an executive coach, trainer and the author of True Leadership The Source of Success. Phone: 0412 034 931. Email: lisarubinstein@thehpinstitute.com Website: www.thehpinstitute.com. Twitter: http://twitter.com/lisa_rubinstein. LinkedIn: http://au.linkedin.com/in/executiveexcellence.

Lisa Rubinstein has written 13 article(s) for us.

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Communication: Why Elephants Can’t Talk to Gazelles

September 4, 2012 | Lisa Rubinstein

Learn how to speak the language of the person you are communicating with instead of your own language.
Learn how to speak the language of the person you are communicating with instead of your own language.

When you communicate, who are you really speaking to? Before you answer that too quickly, I’d like you to consider a few ideas.

In general, when we speak, our default habit is to frame our communication the way we want to say something. We might have something to get off our chest, want to share, need to say or think is important to convey. In any case, we’ll get the message across in our language.

The problem is that the person you are delivering the message to speaks another language. Kind of like being an elephant trying to talk to a gazelle. Something gets missed in translation.

Often it is subtle enough that we never notice. But, there is always a disparity between what we say and what is actually perceived.

That’s because everyone’s brain is uniquely wired with its own set of filters to manage everything coming in. For instance, what would you think if someone came out of the blue and said “I love you!” They may have said that but you would respond to a very different communication. Your first thought might be: “What do you want?”

The first step in bridging that gap is to realise that the person you are speaking to has a different language. Then, start to listen to the words, phrases and ideas they say.

When you speak, think about how they may need to hear your communication so that you get the best response from them. Besides creating a win-win situation (even in times of conflict), this will start to break down barriers to great relationships.

Start by wondering about their world view. Ask yourself how do they need to hear what you have to say? Frame your communication with the intention to drive the best possible result.

Communication is a leader’s most powerful tool. You can use it to wield great influence or destroy people. While it’s impossible to convey the entire world of effective communication in a blog, I hope these words at least prompt you to start to place your attention over to the other person before you speak.

It may seem a bit of a burden at first but will soon become a part of your normal style of communication. I predict you’ll even start to notice an improvement in your relationships. Work and other.

Have you ever struggled with connecting to a client or associate? No matter how hard you tried you just couldn’t see their point of view? Tell us about it below in a comment.