Communication is an art and a science, one that merits a lot of careful study. One of the most important factors influencing your potential for success is your ability to communicate. Whether you are interviewing for a high-end job or trying to ask your dream girl out for a date, communication is essential.
Becoming a great communicator requires you to understand the difference between good communication and effective communication, as there is a considerable difference between the two.
Defining Good Communication
Good communication involves qualities like empathy and the ability to be a good listener. It’s important to remember that communication isn’t all about speaking. It’s also about listening.
For example, if you are talking to your boss about a raise, listen to what they are saying. If they tell you that you are doing a great job and that you are an asset to the company, that’s your chance to ask them to put their money where their mouth is by asking for a raise. The key is to listen to what people are saying so that you don’t miss potential opportunities.
Returning to our example, when your boss is commending you to your face, that’s an excellent opportunity to strike up a conversation about asking for a raise. Likewise, if your boss is telling you off and scolding you for poor performance, you need to recognize that it would not be a good time to ask for a raise.
Empathy is also crucial to good communication. Without empathy, communication is flawed and incomplete. For example, let’s say you are about to ask your boss for a promotion, and you find them concentrating on important work. You should have the empathy to recognize that it would be best to wait for a better time to ask.
So what happens if you don’t exercise any empathy and start explaining why you think you deserve a promotion at an inconvenient time? You’re to get a no nine times out of ten.
Defining Effective Communication
In contrast to good communication, effective communication is a barebones approach to communicating that focuses on getting the point across. While making sure that your point is clear is essential, effective communication strategies often result in misunderstandings between people because it lacks the best elements of good communication.
Talking face to face is one of the most valued forms of effective communication. A well-written email may be effective in its way, but when it comes down to it, the best form of communication is face to face.
While effective communication is straightforward, it can sometimes be too direct, which can cause problems. If you hear that a co-worker has just lost a parent or grandparent and you barge in demanding their help with something, you will not get a pleasant reaction.
Effective communication can help you get results, but most of the time, it’s only suitable for achieving short-term results. The best communicators keep their eye on the big picture.
Understanding the Difference between Good Communication and Effective Communication
Now that you know more about good communication and effective communication, it’s time to learn what makes a great communicator.
To bridge the gap between good communication and effective communication, you will need to hone your skills and practice empathy. You will also need to think about what you want to achieve in any given conversation. If you can’t achieve these skills by yourself professionals from Throughline Group are always happy to help.
While effective communication focuses on results, good communication focuses on things like empathy and relationships.
For those of you that opt for effective communication styles over good communication, you will get your point across, and you may even achieve the desired result in many conversations, but you won’t build relationships.
Building relationships is critical to your success in the workplace, even if you are working remotely. People won’t respond well to you when they get the impression that you only talk to them when you want something.
Of course, sometimes it isn’t possible to thoroughly think out what you would like to achieve in a conversation. For example, when your boss calls you into the office unexpectedly, odds are, you aren’t going to be particularly prepared to make any strategic moves.
Results versus Relationships
If you want to be a good communicator, you need to understand the importance of results and relationships. More specifically, you will need to hone a communication style that generates both of these things.
Sometimes results are short-lived if not paired with a relationship. For example, if you bug your co-workers for recommendations to help you get a promotion and then ignore them immediately after you get the promotion, your relationships will deteriorate.
When your relationships with your co-workers deteriorate, they will be less likely to help you when you call on them again. This is where empathy comes into play. Before asking a co-worker for a favor, think about what they might want and how you can help them.
It doesn’t even have to be something related to work. It could be anything. Your co-worker might be perfectly happy to give you a recommendation in exchange for some help fixing their lawnmower, cabinetry, etc.
In other words, before asking someone to do something for your benefit, think about what you can bring to the table in exchange.
Putting It All Together
In conclusion, being a good communicator takes energy and commitment. It’s not something that comes naturally overnight. You have to work at it. For the most part, as long as you keep a clear idea of the results you want to achieve in each conversation while practicing empathy, you will get results and build profitable relationships.
Being a good communicator gets easier with experience. Once you get started, you will find that it becomes more natural over time. You just have to stick with it.