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November 12, 2012

Workplace Diet: How Are You Measuring Your Communication Effectiveness on the Spot?

workplace diet, communication, leadership, the grossman groupWhether we recognize it or not, as leaders everything we do communicates something. In formal settings or just walking the halls our communications send strong signals to employees, managers and peers.


The audience perceptions taken from these communications and their understanding of what we’re communicating have a significant impact on our ability to achieve the business results we seek.


In those moments – in meetings or one-on-ones, when you’re walking the halls or grabbing lunch – how do you know how you’re doing? How can you tell if your employees walk away with a clear understanding of your message?


Measuring your communication is possible on the spot – and it’s an incredibly effective way to ensure you’re being heard.


Here are a few things you can do to measure the effectiveness of your communication and make sure you’re being understood:

  • Read body languageall nonverbal communication has meaning, and body language can be a rich source of information for any leader. Sometimes it's a cue that you aren't connecting, as body language contradicts what’s being said; other times, it signals when a message is getting through. 
  • Listen for the type of questions being asked – forward-looking questions mean you’re communicating well; if a question causes you to step back, or is challenging assumptions made, you need to step back and re-frame your communication.  Chances are, you skipped important context.  Think, “Once upon a time” and start again.
  • Ask your audience to paraphrase what they heard – a simple “Help me with what you’re hearing?” allows you to check for understanding
  • Ask for feedback – ask employees or managers “What am I doing well when it comes to communication?” or “How could I be even better with communication?”


This type of real-time measurement is an impactful way to understand how you’re doing and how you can be even better.


How are you measuring your communication effectiveness on a day-to-day basis?



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