The Art of Verbal Communication

May 1, 2017


Just some of my thoughts, and something that is always in my conscious.


Communication… its simple, isn’t it… and so obvious but its often so overlooked, assumed and in some case done so badly.

There are many means of communication, and here I am going to talk about the verbal method. Usually available ALL the time, but sometimes in the modern world we live in it is used the least. The other methods seem to become to more prevalent, such as email, instant messaging, blogs etc. and simply are often the wrong approaches.

In business, my view is that to engage and empower relies heavily on verbal communication, one reason (and there are many) is that it can be interactive, there are opportunities for clarification and in some cases its HOW its said that is as important as to WHAT is said. There is an opportunity to LISTEN and seek input / feedback if thats what you’re looking for. That just doesn’t work or come across on an email. Also as part of preparation and structure, what do you want your audience to remember / walk away with.

Another point to consider is the needs and wants of individuals varies, if you are looking to make it interactive, many won’t speak up, some have a high degree and thirst for written information, so if results, data, statistics are being shared then I feel its valuable to share something in advance of a verbal engagement. This gives time for those that want to digest / consume and pre-process to prepare and think about any clarification they may want. I have used over the years the outputs of personality profiling tools such as Myers-Briggs MBTI / DISC / others to help understand the “DNA” of the team and then how to effectively engage / communicate with them.

Whether your role is a leader of people / teams / business or an individual contributor the needs and wants are the same. It also harness’s collaboration, gets other perspectives and generally keeps everyone engaged. How many times have you “assumed” that your teams / peers / colleagues all knew what was required or what was expected of them or simply what we were all striving to achieve. Think about all those unread emails in your inbox!

I’ve looked back at the leaders I’ve worked for, and the teams I’ve been in and the best and most rewarding ones are when everyone is informed of the goal / target / mission or simply kept up to date. If regular and often, relevant and fosters an environment of great teaming when done well. Do not make it a one off event... consistency and regularity is key here.

I also prescribe to a simple phrase once shared with me many years ago by a manager - “Good news doesn’t get better over time”, so whether its good or bad, its better to communicate, deal with it and move on.

A short and initial thought, and something I really believe it makes a difference. So much can be written about this.. just a thought provoker. How well do you communicate and keep people around you informed?

And as you reach for your keyboard to "communicate"... stop and think. Is this the right platform.... (I think that's a subject for another time.)

What do you think?

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