[Image by Gerd Altmann of Pixabay]

What is normal anyway?  Tough question and the answer will differ largely based on your frame of reference.

One aspect we can agree on is that the term communication is derived from the Latin word “communis” which means commonplace or normal.  My understanding is that when we communicate, we’re not doing something to someone but rather we’re seeking out the common ground between us and that individual. Small distinction that has a big impact.

It’s quite natural for the sender of the message and the receiver of that same message to have a gap. It is that very gap that we want to reduce (or eliminate) because failure to do so is one of the major causes of breakdowns in communication.  This often leads to confusion, misunderstanding, errors, and a generally jumbled up message. In fact, it can be a contributor to low productivity and a poor use of time management.  Therefore, it’s imperative to take the necessary steps now to avoid communication that may be causing damage to your organization.

You may be wondering…what exactly are those necessary steps?  Here are some good questions to mull over–they include:

  1. Are my remarks appropriate for the culture of the person (or group) to whom I’m speaking?
  2. How effectively do I listen to others on my team or those with whom I work?
  3. Do I demonstrate the requisite emotional intelligence qualities?
  4. What processes am I using to encourage open communication and communicate across silos?
  5. How well do I ensure the accuracy of my message?
  6. Where do I follow-up and help to streamline what has been shared?
  7. Do I recognize my own priorities as well as the priorities of others and attempt to balance both?

Most of us know that what we used to consider “normal” has been replaced by a “new normal.”  That means it makes sense to alter how we communicate because the existing model is what is working well now.  It will most likely change in the future, which is why it pays to be flexible and adjust based on current circumstances.

Put your effort into how “normal” your communication is.  It promises to be a worthwhile endeavor.

If you’d like help with this or another aspect of business communication, please let me know by calling 518-664-6004 or emailing dale@profitablespeech.com