21 May 2013
Oh that’s very dangerous territory.
We all have the basics we need to function, but there’s a difference between competence and fluidity; between getting along, and communicating effectively.
The image that comes to mind for me is teaching my son to ride a two-wheeler (and now, a car). He was a little hesitant and wobbly at first, but it wasn’t long until he had the basics down, and could manage to successfully navigate around the neighbourhood.
Even though he was competent, what he failed to understand was how little he knew at the time, and how uncertain he would be if faced with a bump in the road; a car driving too close, or even a busy intersection. The basics just don’t cut it when you’re thrown a curve ball.
You not only have to be a good cyclist, you need to be a good defensive driver.
So too, with communication skills.
Unfortunately we don’t always realize our communication skills are rusty until something goes wrong. And then it may be too late. We’ve fallen off our figurative bicycle, and it’s not pretty.
Part of the problem is that we tend to think that communication is a language skill. Actually, it’s a full body contact sport. For example…
… Have you ever gone into a meeting with someone, and come out with a completely different understanding of than your colleague?
…Have you ever walked into a room and instantly felt tension in it?
…Have you ever dealt with a 15-year old (or a spouse – let’s face it) who “gives you attitude”, but swears up and down that they didn’t?
…Have you ever gotten an email message that left you asking yourself whether the author had sour milk on her cornflakes this morning?
In fact, the content of our communication – the words – make up only 7% of the meaning in face-to-face communication. Body language, tone of voice, facial expression, and all the non-verbal cues you send in an interaction hold 93% of your message.
Does that mean that your words don’t matter? Not at all. It speaks to the importance of aligning all elements of the message, such as your body language, tone of voice and facial expression, with your words for clarity.
Tait Communications is often called upon by clients to present workshops and training on various elements of communication. Now we’re going a step further, and offering open enrollment training courses in a number of areas of communication and management. This summer we’re offering the following training courses and dates:
Writing in Plain Language June 10
How to be a Teambuilder June 11-12
Emotional Intelligence June 17
Presentation skills June 18-19
Interpersonal communication June 20
Find out more at www.taitcc.com or call us at 669-6211. We can also customize training for your group.
Watch our website for other upcoming courses and training dates.