Happy 2019 StrengthsGenius family!
As you took stock of 2018 and created your New Year Resolutions, we hope that you took a few moments to reflect on all the things that are oh so right with you and recognized your inherent value as a Unique Genius.
Which of your strengths came into play for you over the past year? Which ones would you like to see show up for you in 2019? Looking for some extra motivation this year? Register for our exclusive webinar : Beyond Talents: The 7 Motivations (more details below).
At StrengthsGenius.coach, we’ve resolved to practice better communication in 2019. By now, you already know that we are not shy about communicating – we LOVE to talk, present, inform, and hear your stories. But, we recognize that there is always room for improvement, and we have determined to be more intentional about the quality of communication we engage in with our various stakeholders. We invite you to join us in developing your communication skills throughout the year. Here are some of our considerations and strategies that you can use moving forward.
#1. Active Listening
Have you ever been in a conversation and completely tuned out what the other person was saying? Perhaps you can easily recall examples of when you were speaking and felt unheard or ignored. Active listening can help us make sure that we are paying attention to the messages that are said as well as the underlying messages that may not be explicitly stated.
Active listening involves:
- Giving one’s undivided attention to a speaker
- Observing the speaker’s body language
- Avoiding interruption – waiting for the speaker to finish his/her thoughts before speaking
- Showing nonverbal comprehension (nods) or verbal affirmations of understanding (I understand...)
- Paraphrasing what the speaker says for enhanced clarity
- Asking questions to refine understanding
Active listening helps to ensure that the way we interpret a message aligns with the speaker’s intentions and goals for that message. When practiced well, active listening helps to establish rapport between communicators, aids in problem solving, and allows us to build trust.
#2. Responding Instead of Reacting
When faced with high-stress (or frankly low-stress) interactions, we sometimes have the tendency to react emotionally to a stimulus. Think of the last time your felt scared, embarrassed, or threatened. What was your reaction? Did you scream, curse, cry, shut down, gossip, run away, or fall to your knees? When our emotions are triggered, it’s easy to take them as absolute truth and sometimes act dramatically to express our frustration, humiliation, or fear.
To respond instead of reacting to an uncomfortable situation requires us to pause and notice the feelings that we are having. It is helpful in these moments to take a breath, take our time, and assess the situation for what is really going on.
Perhaps a coworker offended you with a callous remark. Rather than internalizing the remark as true, going off on your colleague, or talking down about them to other coworkers, practice the following:
- Take a deep breath,
- Consider the other person – could it be that (s)he didn’t mean the remark to be offensive? What may have led the other person to saying what they said in the way that they said it?
- Consider your emotional response – what about the comment hurt you? What feelings are you having?
In assessing your immediate reaction to the comment, you can better understand how to respond. You might:
- Ask for clarification – did I understand you correctly? Did you mean to say ___ when you said ___?
- Let the other person know that you felt hurt by their comment and ask how you can move forward together to minimize that hurt.
Responding rather than reacting allows us to build more compassionate communication, which can help minimize emotional roadblocks that stand between us and meeting our goals.
Communication is our most powerful tool. Let’s agree to sharpen it, shall we? We hope you join us in being more effective communicators in 2019. Let us know how you’re doing; we’d love to hear from you!
One more thing...
Ever wonder why we do the things we do? Our exclusive webinar Beyond Talents: The Seven Motivations explores the seven motivators of human behavior and provides tips and tricks to unlocking the key to your personal motivation. Help ensure that you’ll meet your 2019 resolutions by signing up now and attending this Members Only Free course!
Date: January 25th, 2019
Time: 12:30 ET/ 11:30 CT
Duration: 90 min