For example, do you:
- Lead your employees in your business?
- Present online or in person?
- Host Zoom meetings at work?
- Communicate around the dinner table with your family?
In any one of these scenarios, the goal is to be effective. You want – your employees to follow, people to buy after your presentation, your meeting to be productive and your family to feel connected. Rather than all those moments go to waste.
If you are unsure whether you are currently effective. Think back to a recent communication or observe your next important communication, and ask yourself – Did you have an impact?
In other words, are you talking but they’re not really listening. This is more common than you think. People are just used to talking without thinking about creating an impact at that moment.
The reality is, in most cases, it’s just – constant dialogue. And once you get to the end of what you’re saying, the other person thinks – What exactly are you saying? Is there a point?
But equally, you can have a compressed version of communication, done the right way, with the right process and the other person is completely engaged.
The key thing with knowing that your communication is effective or what I would call communicating with impact -is that the other person walks away with their certain criteria met.
Examples of Effective Communication – Outcome
One of the most accurate measures of whether your communication was effective or not is by looking at past examples of where you’ve got the outcome you wanted.
And in the same breath, did the other person get the outcome they wanted.
In other words, if you both get the outcome you want. That’s in all purposes an effective interaction.
Here’s an example to better help you understand this concept:
Imagine two people going into a meeting. You are one of them, and your goal is to raise money. Maybe you’re raising money for your property business and your outcome is simple. You want them to say yes to giving you money.
On the other hand, their outcome is that they want to trust you and feel comfortable that they’re going to get a good return on their money.
To know that communication was effective, you’ve both have walked away from that meeting having both achieved your desired outcome. You both got what you wanted.
If you’ve taken my CWI test you know the outcome is a key component in the communication system I teach.
So as a reminder, because this area is so important – to be effective in communication, you’ve got to master this component ‘outcome’. When used in harmony with the other components of my system – you’ll go beyond being effective, into a high performer territory.
Another Example of Effective Communication – Engagement
I personally think this is huge. Engaging someone is the difference between leaving a lasting impression or being forgotten.
For example, if you’re watching somebody and all of a sudden 30 minutes goes by and you don’t notice it – you’re totally engaged in that communication. And have been totally engaged by the person speaking.
You know whatever they’re doing, their communication with you is effective. So you’re:
- In business
- An educator/teacher
- Talk to an audience
- Run presentations or meetings
And can get instant engagement with people.
Then go on to keep them engaged throughout the communication.
That is a brilliant measure of the effectiveness of the way you’re communicating. And as a result, will achieve the result you want – close the deal, students complete their homework, the audience is taking notes, asked to speak again and more.
How do know if someone is engaged?
With what you’ve read so far in mind, a common question is – how do I know if someone is engaged? What are the telltale signs?
Here’s what you want to look out for:
- Are they leaning forward?
- How attentively are they listening?
- Is there avid note taking?
- Watch if they are nodding?
- Do you feel like they are in flow with you? – laughing, smiling, agreeing etc
How to engage people quickly?
As you can see, this area is so important, I’ve added additional actions for you to consider There are very specific ways to engage people.
A quick way is to grab someone’s attention is to use:
- A strong question and/or
- A bold statement
Those two things alone can get people leaning in and listening to you. Start practising with these in your next communication. If you’re doing social media videos, these are great tools to use right at the start of your video.
Communication Effectiveness through: Rapport
Rapport is like synchronicity.
This means when you get synchronised with the other person you’re in a flow. I’ve mentioned flow in a previous section, so let’s expand on it here.
To help you notice rapport in communication, you’ll notice the other person is either:
- Looking at you
- They’ve got the same body language
- As you write something, they write something
- They lean the same way
There are lots of different measures of rapport. The ones above are areas of rapport you can quickly and visually identify.
In my communication system, I teach there are three core components:
- You – the person deliverying the communication
- Them- the person receiving the communication
- Environment – the world in which you communicate
Think about the person you’re communicating with (2). If you can get them in rapport with you and they’re really feeling connected to you. You can start to steer and guide them to the destination you want the conversation to go.
For example, when I’m in front of an audience I’ll use my hands or move my body a certain way.
A lot of the time I’ll see people’s faces getting into alignment with mine or their heads are nodding, which means -they’re getting into rapport with me!
The same thing applies on a one-to-one basis.
The opposite of that is when somebody walks away and they don’t feel engaged or connected, they don’t feel like they’ve got their outcome (you can now see how all these communication components begin to link).
In other words, they’re certainly not in rapport with you. And you’re practising ineffective communication.
In Summary: Clear Next Steps
Finally, I want to leave you with a bonus tip.
So far I’ve spoken about being ‘in the communication’. What happens when the communication has ceased? How do we ensure ongoing dialogue?
Well, effective communication to me is – having a strong follow-through.
Another way of putting this is, you both know what the next steps are.
You’ve achieved effective communication if you walk away knowing what happens next. And then following through on whatever promise was made as part of that communication.
In essence, you came to the meeting with an outcome, you got engagement and rapport. You established a win-win for everybody. Now you explain to the group or individual – what’s going to happen next.
Once you’ve identified these next steps, that follow-through is a clear indication to me that you’ve achieved effective communication.
In your next interaction, notice these four things and you’ll walk away feeling as though you’re more connected.
But also more importantly, how incredibly effective you’ve been in the way you’re communicating.