It’s a funny thing… we all think we send clear messages. But if you’ve ever played a game of telephone you’d know how messed up messages can get.
So what happens when you say something important?
The game of interpretation is a dangerous one. It wastes time, money and energy.
If you could only say something to someone one time, how would you say it to make it stick? Short and sweet? Long and detailed? With emotion?
You get this one-time chance every day. How much time, money and energy have you wasted being unheard?
What’s the solution? Before you talk, listen. Discover a bit about your audience, even if it’s an audience of one.
If you’re talking to your boss, is he dropping hints as to what is keeping him up at night? Is he telling you what he wants from you in an indirect way? Listen closely. Ask questions. Check if you heard correctly by paraphrasing. Then, and only then, communicate what you want to say and make sure that what you have to say speaks to your boss’s needs.
If you want to be heard, you need to be relevant and compassionate. Demonstrate that you’ve heard your audience. Then return to your message with the knowledge of what your audience needs to hear. You can be your boss’s best asset but he may not be hearing you.
Try again, tomorrow. But this time, listen first!