This week my tip is going to be all about communication.
I actually own and run a communication company and have for the past 28 years, but sadly I find that some days I am just not as good a communicator as I would like to think that I am.
There are days when I think that I have just given the best Report of Findings of my life to a patient and they walk out to the front desk and ask my staff, ” how much longer to I need to keep scheduling to get this corrected?”
Then there are staff meetings or family gatherings when I think I am sharing my vision for what I want us all to be doing and accomplishing and instead of buy in, all I get is grumpiness and door-slamming with mumbling under their breath from my spouse, kids or staff.
How can they all be such bad listeners at the same time, or is there a better explanation for what might be going wrong here?
Does any of this sound familiar, or am I the only one who experiences this from time to time?
I hate to admit this, but I think the problem might actually be ME!
I think that sometimes, with men especially, we,(me for sure!) can be bad, or lazy communicators and that is the basis for much of the conflict that we see in business, in our relationships and in the world in general.
How to begin to fix this problem is going to be the basis for my tip this week.
Is everyone ready? because this is going to be quite the ride, so hold on and here we go…
1.The bottom line is that good communication is more of a combination of efficiency and art form than it is a science. Let me give you an example:
Last night, my wife went out with with one of her best girl friends that she has known for over 20 years for a birthday dinner and to catch up. They went to dinner for 2 hours and then came home and went for a 1.5 mile walk though our neighborhood. There was non-stop talking going on the whole time they were together.
When I found out what they had discussed over that 3 hour time frame, I realized that I could have extracted that amount of information from her friend in 5 minutes or less!
Good communication, unlike the Olympics doesn’t mean that being the fastest is always being the best at what we do. Who do you think my wife’s friend had more fun with? Her or me?
2. Too many of us talk “at” people instead of “to” the people we really want to communicate with.
Here is where I tend to make my most common communication mistakes. Too often I just bark or give orders to those who work with me, or are in some type of relationship with me because I see that as the most efficient way to get things going in a direction that I want or need them to go.
For the most part, those who know me just jump on task and start doing what it is that I have asked them to do, but every once in a while, someone gets their undies in a bunch over something I say and that causes all kinds of trouble for the next hour, day, week, or forever if I don’t pay attention to what has happened and try to find a way to correct for this.
Here is what I think that I and maybe some of you need to start doing with your relationships and with your business communications to help avoid this kind of conflict or communication failure in the future.
A. Instead of talking “at” people and giving orders, try talking “to” them and ask them for feedback, or to engage with you in the sharing of the idea or concept that you really want to communicate to them and everyone else.
B. Understand that talking “to” people is not as efficient as talking “at” them, but in the end it can still save you huge amounts of time because you will get and enjoy more buy-in from those you are communicating with. You will find that more of them will be on board with the ideas and directions that you want them to follow or comply with, without conflict or interruptions when you engage them instead.
Just remember that there will always be times when talking “at” someone will be acceptable and appropriate, like when boarding an airplane by boarding section or group numbers, or when going to your assigned seat at a concert or sporting event. No real discussion is necessary. Just be efficient and get on board so we can all leave or start on time!
There will also be times when talking “to” people will be much more suitable and profitable where feedback and dialogue are necessary like when you are working on a project with a group that has diverse talents and skills, when you are talking to a spouse or loved one, or when you are giving a Report of Findings in a Chiropractic office to someone who is new to this experience and may have lots of internal dialogue and questions about what it is you do and how that might help them with their unique problems.
This week I want each of us to change our approach and begin talking “to” those we come in contact with instead of just “at” them and see how it can help to change our bottom line, both at home and at work!
Try this approach with your next Report of Findings and then track the compliance compared to those you have communicated with differently. The proof will be in the pudding.
Call me, or one of my staff if you need some help with your Report of Findings. We specialize in this type of engaging conversation!
Have a great day and let me know what you think of my tip this week.
I would really love your feedback!
Dr. Rob Jackson
Applewood Chiropractic Health Center
Back Talk Systems Inc
Colorline Digital Printing
Thompson Technique Foundation
7950 W. Colfax Ave.
Lakewood, Colorado 80214