conversationAn unaccredited quote going around on social media is:

“No matter what job you have in life, your success will be determined 5% by your academic credentials, 15% by your professional experiences, and 80% by your communication skills.”

I cannot find any source for the data provided in this quote, but the quote’s implication matches my experience as a communicator. It all goes back to “how you say it,” not what you say.

For me, what makes a good communicator is the ability to be “in” the conversation. What do I mean? Instead of thinking ahead of what I want to say, I focus on the person who is speaking and listen to what they are saying. Then, when they have finished speaking, I add my contribution to the conversation. By being in that space of listening, I am free to say what I want to truly express, instead of saying what I think the other person wants to hear.

I apply the same principle to written communication. If I am initiating an email topic, I take a moment and think about who I am sending the email to and what I want to communicate. If I am responding to an email, I take time and really read the email I am responding to. In both cases, I put aside past conversations or what I think “should” happen. Then, I read my written response as if I am in a conversation with that person, and edit to bring clarity to my communication. By doing so, I bring thoughtful clarity to my communication.

Bringing that presence of thought to verbal and written communication creates an environment of collaboration, of inclusion, and of being heard by the other person. And that is what successful communication is all about!

Are you interested in becoming comfortable saying no? Then join us on Saturday, March 19, 2016 for The Power of No”, Session 1 of our Powerful Language Workshop Series. Register Now.