Thursday, 12 April 2012

Communicate, but wait first connect

Been on stage ever wondering, why those lads in the audience are busy yawning? Ever walked to a ticket counter and noticed why the lady behind the counter never looks you right into your eyes? Ever tried to figure out why calculating a TV TRP is such a difficult task? or ever wondered why the RJ on your favourite radio channel never blabbers what you want her to? Well they all miss one critical part of communication.... The CONNECT part.

The connect in the communication makes the communication effective and vital, eventually managers, leaders who fail to bring the connect part in the work they do, always tend to fail in the overall results. A few months ago I attended a live music programme and a seminar on some typically financial topic. I always thought speeches and seminars are boring while music is great.. My assumption changed when I had the speaker of this boring topic make a few connects with the audience, he asked questions, he cracked jokes, he made gestures and he involved the audience and dragged them deep into the topic. On the other hand the singer and the band playing the greatest hits ever never ever got the audience involved. That's the importance of connect in the communication.

Its the same thing with articles and blogs... if they don't connect, they loose the touch, the hope and the feedback, eventually making the communication connectionless.  The video below explains how connect plays a key role in communication... Be it the safety measures video before you fly or the most hostile speech you hear...

Remember to connect when you communicate... 

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Communication : Talking, Listening or more?

"The greatest problem in communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished" - George Bernard Shaw 
A few days ago we happened to do our Project kick off, an event where we discuss what we would achieve in the quarter, for the product in a given release cycle with details of who does what and when. Wanting to keep the mood of the kick off light we wanted to have some cake cut at the end of the kick off meeting and celebrate the beginning of the release; I happened to pass on few quids to the office boy and asked him to get us a cake, when the kick off meeting was over and we opened the box it was a small cake that probably wont be enough for our team, so what was this?

Also a few weeks ago, my wife called me while I was on my way home and asked me to get a "Few cold drinks" mentioning my kids friends are in. Thinking that the troop was at home for a puppy party or something I ended up taking a few gallons of soft drinks, only to reach home and realise they were 2 of them. What do you call this????

Well its the disconnect. The ability to speak is not the same as the ability to communicate. Speaking is different than constructing a message, building it, conveying it, gathering the feedback, processing it and returning it back in a way it is understood. Most times the part involving feedback and further is lost and hence a disconnect happens breaking the communication and causing pains and disasters big or small.

Communication is not about you blabbering, it is conveying processed information
Communication is not about words exchanged, it is about processing the words to result an outcome
Communication is not about you listening or you telling, Communication is always about connecting

Next time when you communicate..... make sure

1. You construct a message that would be easy to understand and can be easily conveyed
2. You take that message and use an appropriate channel to pass it on
3. You wait for the feedback once you convey the message.
4. You take the feedback and process it to understand if your message is rightly understood and if not you re-convey.
5. You take the resultant feedback and build the next message in a language and mode it is understood...

None of the above is new to us, eventually we in the rush always tend to forget the completeness of the communication and that results in delays and waste of efforts you never looked for.