Talking Isn't Always Communication

“Just because you talk doesn’t mean you communicate”

This statement appeared in my readings this week and wow, did it hit home. Yes, we might be able to speak, possibly more than some would like, yet are we communicating? The challenge here is to ask yourself the question… am I truly communicating?

Here are 3 recommendations:

  • Pause, take a breath, slow down, think about word choice before speaking, take a beat… this is not new, yet try it.
  • Ask yourself will what I say be true and helpful?
  • How will this resonate, and thus land with my audience? Or, will they move on quickly and not listen, or not hear the message?

Talking is one thing – communicating is another

The derivation of the Latin root communicare is from communis, “to make common or to share”. Being a give and take, a two way street, a back and forth – this communication topic falls under the conscious communication umbrella. And, knowing that, being present is key. Present in each and every conversation that matters. Thinking about it, don’t most conversations really matter? Yes, it’s an opportunity to engage.

Back to the 3 recommendations

  1. People are fine with you taking a breath, maybe even swallowing or slightly shifting a physical stance. It demonstrates you are taking time to think before speaking. It’s even diplomatic to state, “Let me think about that for a minute.” In advising faculty at Berkeley Haas, I’d recommend professors to stop and think before answering a student question. Truly give thought to how to craft your answer and just as important, let people see you take time to think!
  2. Being honest with yourself and others is tantamount to healthy communication, with no exaggeration. And being helpful? Well, that’s being kind. Sender and receiver of the message alike will benefit from kindness. You can still be kind and deliver tough messages. Something else to explore here is tone.
  3. Knowing your audience is key as you determine what language choices will have significant meaning. The importance of language choice is another post all together. I’ll get to that next… along with tone.

Please share one of your favorite recommendations.

Happy communicating!