Demystifying A Single Solution to your
Biggest Workplace Constraints: Communication
When was the last time you had a challenge putting your message across to someone at your workplace? A subsequent question would be, was it about you or about the person you were talking to?
Let me simplify it for you and you might readily find your answer here: This comes in naturally, and perhaps, quite easily: Blame your Manager for ruthlessly assigning you a task right at a critical time — when you planned to leave office early to fulfil a social need. You do it even more when you’re prompted to provide an explanation for being late to a very important family occasion or not being able to make it to your son’s sports day, or mostly missing out on dinner plans with your friends. “My Manager doesn’t understand that I have a personal life too,” is that what you would choose to say too? Hold on. Think. Possibly, your manager’s inability to understand your situation may not be the only contributing factor to your situation. It could be a lack in communication at your end, as well! Let me take you through the possible gaps and the ways you can address them.
While I have always been aware of the fact that Communication is the one of the biggest factors of pandemonium, and yet the top solution to 90% of the chaos across all situations including the one at workplaces, I was intrigued to write this piece after identifying it as a top challenge amid corporates – through a survey I conducted recently. This survey that entailed responses from a wide number of individuals from organizations around the world including Heineken, Tata Consultancy Services and Tommy Hilfiger, etc, identified that developing assertiveness and clear communication was one of the top challenges for both men and women at their workplaces. Most of them agreed that they faced difficulty in saying No, or felt dominated or as Managers, they found it tough to convey what exactly they wanted.
Converting A Real Problem into An Opportunity
So, this is certain that Communication is a huge challenge at workplaces. Within that, conflicts arise when people do not agree with each other and that often leads to a blame game, misjudgments, manipulation, and a victimising behaviors. As a leader, you may have different stakeholder with whom you communicate and engage in a conversation. Everyone around you brings in different set of energies and enthusiasm to each interaction and that leads to influencing the outcome – making it successful or unsuccessful. Having self-doubt, lacking in confidence, low self-esteem, lack of self-belief could become one of the prominent reason behind ineffective communication. To lead by example, it becomes crucial for you to be aware of your default behaviour and tendencies. Besides, you need to be significantly aware of the energy of the other individual with whom you are interacting. This holistic approach will enable you to consciously choose to shift or adapt your behavior to match with the frequency of the other individual. But, How how do you do that?
To dissect the real problem, you first of all need to understand what is the “reality”. Are you battling or dominated with your pre-conceived notions that if you communicate, worst will happen, implying that you might be creating your imaginary stories in your mind—Self Chatter as I call it 😊 However, this could be an assumption, making you suffer in silence and curse your Manager? And, who gains out of it? Indeed, none of you. But, once you know the blind spot, you would always have a choice — whichever you choose will further define your success or failure.
So, here’s a set of things you can start with to carve out your solution towards an effective communication (overcoming your pre-conceived notions):
1. Start by asking yourself “why” are you avoiding that conversation, and how well that is serving your business? If not what is the first step you can take? Next step is to find out what’s at the core of your value — what really matters to you and how can you ensure that your words reflect your values without damaging your relationship. Here your assertiveness as a leader or as an employee comes into play. But you are likely to get confused between assertiveness and aggression. The two, however, are absolutely different things. Your assertiveness has to do with your tendency to clearly state your story – while taking into account the sensitivities of the other person. When you speak up, you rise above the tag of being a “yes man” to the boss or the colleague. As against your pre-conceived notion of eliciting something worse, you would rather be able to earn more value and respect by showing assertiveness.
2. Practice intuitive listening. This is about being totally attentive to what you are listening to. If you are able to build a command over your listening – you could transform into a better leader, indeed. But how do you get started? Here, only you should answer this question and, only to yourself — Did you really listen to the other person? If yes, How do you know.
3. Learn to say “No” and say “I don’t understand” – Remember what you say is about you; what they hear is about them and you cannot control that. Learning to say “no” needs assertiveness not arrogance or avoidance. Check your communication preference style too. Are you coming across rational or too direct or too critical or emotional and missing the point? If you are one of them then, imagine — would that other perosn really wants to commuimcate with you? Or what do you want them to hear and how well are you delivering that message? Lastly, if the outcome of the conversation did not meet your expectations, what did you learn about your approach towards communicating with that person?
The trick is to be aware of your state and to decide whether it’s serving you or not. If not, then your entire focus should be stationed at figuring out the effective way to communicate well – keeping your sanity and respectfulness still high. Remember: When you are assertive in a tough situation, you will come across as a person with strong beliefs. The other person will feel respected and not let down. None likes a “yes man”.
Once you identify communication as your greatest challenge and take the first step towards improving it, you might still come across challenges within, which are specific to you – in terms of communicating effectively and assertively. In that case, EQ2.0 Assessment can prove a real boon for you and your business in helping you assess the blind spots as well the cause behind their occurrence. This assessment, which is scientifically upheld, will ultimately enable you to communicate more confidently and competently, even in difficult situations.
How EQ Assessment works:
An EQ-i 2.0 assessment entails a personal EQ-i 2.0 report running into 21 pages highlighting business-specific strategies and action plans that are compatible and meaningful in a workplace. To learn more, you can connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember! Each intervention is packed full of opportunities for learning, applying and absorbing a vast knowledge base of time-tested, proven and extremely effective tools, strategies and techniques. EQ-1 2.0 is an epitome.