“The best conversationalist is the person who listens the most.”
When you think of a great communicator, what’s the first word that comes to your mind?
“articulate," “eloquent," “expressive," "clear” any other words that comes to your mind?
Do you connect with any of these words? Do you know someone whom you consider a great communicator? I know of a few. One of them being my great mentor, John C. Maxwell. From years of having studied, trained and lived the fine art of communication. I want to share with you the 3 trait secrets that are commonly known yet I believe are rarely applied by most people.
First, I believe great communicators master the art of "connecting" with their audience. Whether it’s an audience of one, twenty or 5,000; a great communicator would focus their energy on making connection with the audience.
1) Great communicators ask questions – As I often say, effective communication is not about what you feel like saying, but whether the listener “connects” with your message. The best way I’ve found in connecting with the other party is to ask questions about what they care about, who they are, what moves them. After all, good communication is not about what you feel like saying but learning how you could speak into the other person’s world so you could effectively be understood by them.
2) Great communicators are active listeners – There is a distinct difference between listening and actively listening.
An active listener would behave in one or more of these ways:
They listen with intention. That means, they're not scrolling through their phone or computer during the conversation.
They make eye contact. They are looking at the person they're speaking to. When I communicate with a person with wandering eyes, I don't put as much energy into the conversation as I don't feel my time is being valued. Have you been there?
They repeat or reflect what they heard. They make sure they understood the message correctly.
They ask clarifying questions. Many miscommunication take place when you make an assumption of what the other person’s saying when you are not clear.
3) Great communicators want to serve and add value. This is the most challenging one. This requires a conscious effort to give. In this world of busyness, we are wired to ask “What’s in it for me?” Whether you ask it out loud or not, you’re thinking it. That is not a right or wrong, it just is.
Great communicators are there to serve their audience. They’re there to add value first. They may have a personal interest or an agenda, but that is not in the forefront of their mind as they communicate. People can feel what you're thinking.
Have you ever been in a conversation when the other person is doing most of the talking and almost the entire conversation is about them? If yes, how did that make you feel. Did you want to spend more time with that person or did you hope the conversation would end quickly? Did you feel like the other person was interested in serving you at all or did it feel like it was self-serving on their part?
Here's a thought to take home. Take a personal assessment and ask yourself, which one area could you improve on to be a great communicator? The next question is, what might it feel like if you improved in that particular area? Then the last question is, do you think you will draw more people to you if you were a better communicator/connector?
Is this article adding value to you? If so, please share in the comment box below of what your takeaway is. Will you share it for others to benefit?
About The Author:
Kasama is a mother, a wife, and a well-recognized inspirational speaker who has become a mentor, a coach, a consultant to middle managers, team leaders and educators who want to reach their highest potential in their career and in their lives. She is a certified John Maxwell leadership speaker, trainer and coach. She’s a creator of an Online Course Community for professional and personal development:The Winning Formula