Inspirational Infusion

#16 — July 1, 2010

We don’t all speak a common language,
even when we seem to use
the same words.

— Jami Bernard

Welcome, Inspired Traveler!

So, how many times have you left a meeting that you attended with several colleagues and you all have a different understanding of the conclusions drawn? How many times have you participated in a seminar or workshop and been confused by the mixed messages? Yes — it has happened to most of us at one time or another. Communication is not easy! And deep listening is even more challenging in this era of emails, tweets, social networking, meetings, phone conferences… the list goes on and on.

And yet, in spite of all of the “over-communicating”, we don’t seem to be having much success. When I work with organizations on leadership development and corporate culture change, the biggest complaint is the “poor communication.” When I work with individual coaching clients, I hear the same thing.

It appears that while we might have thousands of “connections”, we have lost the ability to distinguish between a connection and a relationship! And that is a pretty big distinction. So, let me offer you some ideas on how to improve your communications and to create some common emotional ground using language:

  1. Paint the visual picture.. Use words that help your listeners “see” the message you are trying to send. Visual listeners and learners prefer imagery — it helps them understand your message.
  2. Harness the power of stories. Stories help us connect emotionally with the speaker. Weaving a story that makes the point is much more captivating than bullet points.
  3. Questions provoke memory. When we can awaken the memories of others through rhetorical questions, we create a relationship between speaker and listener. When relationship is present, we listen more deeply.
  4. Have some fun. Keep in mind that humans enjoy humor, like to laugh, and will remember information that is connected to fun more than they will remember a laundry list of facts. Fun will also move your listeners to carry the message forward — expanding your communication through participation.

So, in summer, when we are even more distracted than usual, make your communications count! Don’t let your messages be stolen by sunshine, weekend plans, daydreams of the shore — in addition to all of the routine attention stealers. Paint the picture, tell inspirational stories, ask questions and get them to laugh! People will be talking about the work that needs to be done with a new enthusiasm — and with enthusiasm spirit and excellence are unleashed!

Have an Inspirational Day! Be Magnificent!


At InspirationInProgress we help you link People, Passion and Possibilities. We’d love to share some stories of how we’ve helped clients improve communication and collaboration; we’d love to help you as well!