What’s Your Communication IQ?

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    Communication, which occupies approximately 70% of our wak­ing hours, is what many leaders find the most frustrating.

    Many of us were never taught to communicate in ways that lead to postive out­comes. Rather, we tend to experience annoyance, anger or just give up on the per­son or the situation. Here’s how to communicate better to get better outcomes.

    Take a Quick Communication Quiz.

    Think of a recent important con­versation. How many of these questions can you answer YES to?

    1. Did I prepare ahead of time for this conversation?
    2. Did I think about what’s the best way to approach this person?
    3. Was I aware of the other person’s communication style and spoke to it?
    4. Did I pay full attention, without multitasking, to what the other person was saying?
    5. Was the intent of my communication to discuss and understand rather than be right?
    6. Did I listen, without interruption, to the other per­son’s point of view even if I didn’t agree?
    7. If I was asking the person to take a specific action, did I make my request clear and concise?
    8. Did I summarize what I thought I heard the other person say before expressing my point of view?
    9. Did I follow-up to see if the con­versation was successful – it led to a positive outcome for the other?
    10. If the outcome did not meet my ex­pecta­tions, did I reflect on how to better com­municate with that particular person?

    What’s Your Communication IQ?

    8-10 Yeses indicate you’re the tops. Keep up the good work.

    4-7 Yeses is OK. Brush up in cer­tain areas.

    0-3 Yeses. You have work to do.

    To Raise Your Communication IQ:

    1. Talk less, hear more.
    We want to be heard and lis­tened to but we don’t always concentrate on listening to oth­ers. We focus more on our agenda than on the other per­son’s concerns or issues.
    2. Don’t shot the messenger.
    We want to understand but our ability is tainted by our percep­tions of the person speaking or the outcome we are looking for. So, we often pass judgment on the speaker and disregard the message. Con­centrate on the message not the messenger.
    3. Avoid mind reading.
    We want some kind of action or response from another person. However, we don’t let them know what we really want or how to achieve it. Before as­suming the other knows what you want, first inform and then ask for feedback.
    4. Stop pushing.
    We want agreement from others, so much so, that we often be­come consumed with being right or proving our point. Rather, look for areas of mutual agree­ment. Then work from there to cre­ate a greater outcome.

    Career Success Tip

    Steven Covey, author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, says; “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Therefore, in your communication, make sure to understand others before you start trying to be understood.

    Are there situations in which you need to raise your communication IQ? What do you need to do to get better outcomes? How will you know that you have been successful?

    Do you want to develop Career Smarts?