Have you ever felt like your messages are not being heard by your board, your volunteers, members, or staff?
You are not alone.
Research shows that nine out of ten conversations miss their mark.
In other words, 90% of the time, people walk away with a different view of reality than what they originally thought.
Why? Because we can communicate and still fail to connect.
Here are 3 valuable tips to help you communicate and connect.
1 – Observe Body Language
You have most likely heard the old saying, actions speak louder than words.
Nonverbal signals sent through body language convey a message and let people know what you are thinking, how you are feeling, and if they are connecting with you.
Body language includes facial expressions, gestures, posture, and personal space to name a few. Just being aware of how emotions are expressed can help you better understand what is being said and what is not.
In addition to observing the body language of others, be aware of your own body. What messages could you be sending? You must be aware of your own body language because, remember your actions will speak louder than your words.
2 – Ask Questions
Most people will share their perspective with you, if only you simply ask.
Asking questions helps you understand what others are thinking and why they have a particular perspective. You gain greater insight by asking questions and can tailor your response to create a greater connection.
Most people tend to carry on monologues, not dialogues. They tend to focus on sharing their point of view, never realizing the other person might be disconnecting from the conversation.
When you seek to understand by asking questions, you show that you are genuinely interested in what the other person has to say.
Don’t just ask questions for the sake of controlling the conversation. Listen to their answers, and show that you care about what they are saying.
3 – Value Diversity
We might be a small world after all like Disney would say, but we have some BIG differences across cultures.
When you see life through the eyes of others, you begin to uncover the value of diversity. Different is not wrong; different is just different. Ask for feedback so you can expand your understanding.
How you say something and what you mean by your message might be understood completely differently by someone else.
Keep an open mind and value diversity so that you live the guidance from Dr. Stephen Covey who said it best: “seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
Work on building relationships in your communication. This is how true connections are made and how great communicators become valued.