The power of intentional communication
Intentional communication is the key to clarity
It’s very difficult for all of us to communicate clearly even under ordinary circumstances. How often have you given what you believed to be precise instructions, only to face a barrage of pertinent questions. You then realise that you had been about as clear as mud. It is even more challenging to communicate effectively when the subject matter might be sensitive or difficult. This is when[Tweet " intentional communication is vital."] Originally associated with the communication patterns of infants, Intentional communication has been defined as:
“ the display of communicative signals that are sensitive to the state of the receiver”
4 great tips for intentional communication in the workplace.
1. Be clear about the preferred outcome
Before initiating any difficult conversation have a good understanding of your preferred outcomes, not just in the short-term but the longer term. What results do you want to see? Reflect also on mutual benefits. Do you want a win/win outcome? Or is there a need for gain on a particular issue? Focus on shared future objectives and constructive solutions that can be forged between you and the listener. Avoid critical and blaming language as well as aggressive body language.
2. Understand the audience
Sarah returned from maternity leave to find her boss a changed man. In 3 months he had become authoritarian, was rude and abusive to team members and organizationally chaotic. She finally decided to have a conversation with him that she knew would be difficult. By practising intentional communication she was able to convey that she was struggling with a change in his leadership style. But she also learned that he had discovered that his wife was seriously ill, at the same time as a re-organisation was in the pipeline. He was worried about medical cover. Once she knew the full story, Sarah was able to have a transparent discussion and offer some constructive solutions.
3. Manage the message
4. Be assertive
“When x happened I felt….. x, y, z, which impacted a,b, c… so think that an open conversation would be useful.”
Want advice on improving your communication style? Contact 3Plus now!
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