Here’s today’s tip: Communication isn’t what I say, it’s what YOU hear.
My dad started telling me this when my age was still in the single digits and reminds me of it frequently. It’s as true now as when I first heard it.
The jist of this lesson is that I take ownership over what happens when I open my mouth. The words I choose, the inflection I generate and the gesticulations my body mimes are all talking at once.
Whether it’s as a husband, boss or candidate, it’s important that you always keep communication as the key goal when you open your mouth. The focus isn’t on you and whether you think you’re sounding good, it’s about whether your audience is correctly receiving the message you intend for them.
The better you know your audience, the better you’re able to pre-plan and adjust your communication. As a husband, I take ownership for my communication with my bride. If she doesn’t understand what I’m trying to say, I don’t allow myself to get frustrated. Instead, I ask myself what it is that I REALLY want to get across and figure out how I can reach her in a more effective way.
With voters, this process can yield even more frustrated than with a spouse. We work hard to hone a message and practice our delivery and then once we give it to them, if they don’t respond in the way we’re hoping, our minds default to the thought of, “What the heck is wrong with them?!”
That’s the absolute wrong way to go. We’ve got to take ownership of our communication and that means that if THEY, whoever that is, doesn’t hear us, it’s our fault, not theirs.
Communication isn’t what I say, it’s what YOU hear!