Thursday, December 3, 2009

Connection vs. Communication

Napolean Boneparte once said "An army marches on it's stomach". True.

A business and relationships are dependant upon something else - communication. We operate in a world where there are countless opportunities and technologies that we can use to communicate with others. However we need to reassess and discover if we are merely connecting or are we truly communicating?

(Note - I will use the word 'connect' to mean electronic methods of interaction).

Here's an example - to connect means someone picks up the phone or sees you have messaged them but there is no action, feedback or follow through by the other person.

Communication is where the other person answers the phone, listens to you and understands the intent and purpose of your message.

Many managers assume because they have made a connection (usually electronically) that the message they were trying to communicate has occurred. Wrong assumption.

How do you know the difference between a connection and a successful communication? Try these tips to figure it out -
  1. When sending email track the message - to make sure it gets opened.
  2. Get the receiver to repeat back to you the message you sent - in their own words.
  3. Follow up with the person to their progress within a realistic time frame (shorter rather than longer) to ensure progress is being made.
  4. Speak to people face to face. Body language and non-verbal communication styles account for 80% of a message given (and received!)

To succeed in life - communicate.

  • Communicate often;
  • Communicate clearly;
  • Communicate effectively.

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