Say the right thing the wrong way, and you’ll disconnect.
Intent to connect, correct, or be useful isn’t useful unless content, tone, and body language fully align.
Everything you say invites responses from others.
What responses do your communication methods call for?
1. Aggression calls for agreement or disagreement. It’s hard to dialogue or discuss with aggression. Aggressive people complain, “Why don’t you talk to me? Why didn’t you share your views?”
2. Passion is aggression with a smile. It invites a bit more discussion, but mostly people agree or disagree. Those who agree, support. Those who disagree, run or block.
3. Sadness invites sympathy or withdrawal, depending on how much the audience cares.
4. Correction calls for agreement or defense. Responses have more to do with how you are perceived by others. Experts receive head nodding; persistent critics get distain.
5. Loud volume — when you have power and position — calls for quiet from others, unless they’re equals, stupid, or close friends.
6. Soft tones invite others in.
The quality of your interactions is determined mostly by the way you talk, not what you say – assuming you are at least of average intelligence. You can say the right thing in the wrong way. Or, you can say the wrong thing with pure intentions. Neither works.
Good intentions don’t guarantee effective communication.
Before you talk, ask …
1. What feelings am I inviting?
2. What responses am I seeking?
3. What outcomes am I pursuing?
1. Smile more – frown less.
2. Ask more – make fewer statements.
3. Lower volume – don’t raise it.
4. Soften tones – avoid harshness.
5. Be clear quickly – don’t beat around the bush.
What secrets have you learned about inviting the responses you seek?