“Football is not a contact sport, it’s a collision sport – dancing is a contact sport.”
~Coach Vincent Thomas “Vince” Lombardi
We often forget to think about how our messages are seen by others. Do you know how your messages are received? Are they a contact or a collision?
Do your messages come at full speed, ready to run people over? Do you explode at others, in a blast of energy, anger, excitement, or determination? Do they beat you up or bring you down?
Are your discussions a partnership? Does your message have grace and style?
Do you engage or destroy? Help or hurt? Hug or punch?
Do you tackle your audience or slow dance?
I’m a big believer in the power we gain to communicate better when we work to understand the perspective of others. Empathy and understanding lead to a tango of exchanging ideas instead of fumbled messages. Listening and then considering from more than one perspective let’s you feel the moves of your partner instead of driving them to the turf.
Our messages are more than our words. They include our attitude, our delivery, our responses, and our purpose. Anyone can create messages that just try to bully a point by brute force. It is the successful communicators who know that genuine sharing of ideas only comes from meaningful exchanges.
Glenn S. Phillips is the author of the book Nerd-to-English: Your Everyday Guide to Translating Your Business, Your Messages, and Yourself. You can email Glenn directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Glenn is also the president of Forte’ Incorporated, a consulting firm that works with business leaders to understand and address the often hidden technology and business risks lurking within their organizations.
© Copyright 2012. Glenn S. Phillips, Forte’ Incorporated. (205) 985-1111