Can you imagine how many organizational problems could be solved if people would just talk to each other? This requires skill and a certain sense of confidence that most people don’t have. They haven’t been taught how.
You probably never had the class called, “How to tell somebody something they don’t want to hear without starting a fight.”
It’s also unlikely you had one called, “How to be gracious when receiving tough feedback.”
Growing up, our communication education was heavily focused on reading and writing. That’s unfortunate because most communication happens by talking and listening.
It seems easy enough, but isn’t. There are so many ways to mess up communication, it’s a wonder it ever works.
Three communication skills
Our communication workshops typically focus on three key skill areas:
When something needs to be said, you want employees to say it. Ideally their communication should be direct, honest, and respectful. Using “I-statements” and providing effective feedback are part of this skill area.
This skill is critical to problem solving. It’s also the single biggest factor people use when deciding if others (including their managers) respect them. It’s hard work, and there are specific behaviors that make people better listeners. In this skill area, we also like to address how to effectively respond to messages you didn’t ask for and don’t like.
Words convey only a small portion of the meaning in conversation. The most important messages are sent through posture, gestures, expressions, tone, touch and other signals that most of us know as body language. By paying greater attention to your own body language you avoid sending messages that you didn’t intend to send. By noticing the body language of others, you are better able to understand what they are trying to communicate.
One at a time or all together
These three topics can each be handled individually in 60-90 minutes. That works best when clients want to do a communication skills workshop series that build on each other, often doing one each month.
Sometimes clients want to take people off-site for a more intensive team building session. We’ve done many of these sessions, usually lasting 3-4 hours in which these skills make up the core learning objectives for that portion of the day.
Participants enjoy themselves as they learn new skills and gain confidence by practicing them in a safe environment. Managers report seeing positive changes in their employees after one of these sessions.
Poor communication is almost always part of the problem
If you want to make a significant impact on the work atmosphere, this is the place to begin. Let’s talk through your concerns, and we’ll provide you with a solution that perfectly fits your group’s needs.