Start Here: A Dozen Skills You Need for Two-Way Communication
Last week I talked about the nine fast (and not so fast) fixes for two-way dialogue. This week, it's time to think about the actual skills you need to improve that same kind of dialogue.
So just what are these skills?
Don't worry, following is the list of 12 must-know, must-master abilities that make for good communication.
There’s one for every month of the year, but it won’t take you a month to apply each of these skills. Maybe 12 weeks?
You must have an ability to:
- Select the right time and method for communicating
- Be present in the moment and limit distractions
- Provide the big-picture and context first; check for understanding before sharing more detailed information
- Ask broad open-ended questions to gather feedback
- Share the rationale behind decisions
- Listen for what’s being said (and not said)
- Ask more specific questions to ensure understanding
- Listen some more (stop talking)
- Empathize and reflect back feelings when appropriate
- Check for understanding (paraphrase)
- Ask for feedback (what’s working well/what could be better)
- Ensure shared understanding/meaning before the conversation ends
In the end, employees will give you credit for trying. Self-disclose by letting them know what you’re working on, and ask them for how you’re doing. It shows you care, and you’ll get kudos for trying even when the outcome isn’t exactly what you want.
- David Grossman
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