Very often the person with better communication skills outperforms the one with superior book smarts in their work lives. The benefit of being able to crunch numbers better than others only lasts for so long. In sales, management, and in many other jobs, being able to communicate with your co-workers and customers is what leads to success. Regardless of doing well in work, it is a lot more enjoyable to live a life where you are able to have good conversations with others. Having good communication skills increases the opportunities for you to form stronger relationships in your life.

If you are not able to communicate well with others, how do you expect to form a solid bond with another person? Excluding family, classmates and/or co-workers, you aren’t blessed with being in another person’s presence on a daily basis. The people you meet at a party or a restaurant is a one-time encounter unless you build a strong connection with them. So many great relationships are not formed in life because both parties have trouble communicating with each other. Learning how to communicate effectively can lead to a massive influx of friendships.

The benefits of being an effective communicator is outstanding. Your work performance and quality of relationships will be increased tremendously. People managing others and at the top of organizations have to be good at communicating with others. So, if you want to make it to the top in work, work on becoming a stronger communicator. It will also improve the quality of relationships in your personal life. Not to mention it may also attract potential partners. Hundreds of shouting matches are avoided by speaking clearly and understanding others well through listening. Countless arguments root in miscommunication. Avoiding disagreements by effective communication with others will improve your work and home life.

The art of listening is often way too overlooked. It is a lot more enjoyable for most to be able to speak their mind effectively than to listen. However, listening is the backbone of effective communication. SANS Technology Institute’s Vince Fitzpatrick highlighted the importance of listening in communication in his work for their Leadership Lab. His research indicates is that it is essential to actively listen to others in order to effectively communicate. The goal of communication is to “foster” understanding and according to him you can’t fully understand others without listening to them.[1] No matter how logical or straightforward a point is made, if the person is not listening, the point may as well have not been made. When you listen to others, they will typically reciprocate the courtesy. The best kind of communication is where both sides speak honestly and feel listened to and respected. Strong bonds are built by those who can speak and listen well to one another. Bryant H. McGill, a Human Rights Ambassador and best-selling author, tells us that these bonds are built on respect.

“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.”

-Bryant H. McGill

Respect and listening are the bedrock of effective communication. If you want to have more success in work and more importantly in your relationships, make the effort to listen to others. The effort will pay off.

Activity

Practice to listen to others in all your conversations today. See if the people you communicate with today leave the conversation with a smile on their face or not. Chances are they will.

 

 

 

Exercise 19

Every time someone tells you something, are you thinking about how you are going to respond or truly listening to what they’re saying?

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If you find yourself only thinking about how to quickly respond to others, what can you practice during conversations in order to actually listen to others?

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Play a game today and don’t interrupt anyone. How did it go?

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What was the most interesting thing you learned today by actively listening to others?

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[1] https://www.sans.edu/cyber-research/management-laboratory/article/fitzpatrick-mgt421

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