Have you ever been trying to communicate your message to someone or a group and you just couldn’t seem to get through? It’s not your fault, because most of us were never taught how to be effective communicators when we were growing up.
Many times, when I’m teaching my Reflective Listening workshop for a corporation, participants will agree that what I am teaching will work, but they also comment that it doing what works feels very uncomfortable.
And they’re right!
Many times, being an effective communicator can feel uncomfortable. It’s not that you aren’t getting your message across, because you are. It just feels uncomfortable. Here’s why:
The reason is because we were never taught how to be effective communicators.
Think about it: When were you ever taught how to be an effective communicator?
For most of us our parents were not great communicators. Perhaps yours were, but mine weren’t and I picked up some of my worst habits from them and carried them into my working years. Quite naturally, we model our parents and learn some really ineffective and sometimes even destructive techniques from them.
Then we go to school and the other kids aren’t great communicators either.
In fact, middle school and high school only reinforce our bad habits and teach us the bad habits that other kids picked up from their parents. These techniques don’t work well even in school and they are even less effective when we get to be adults.
How about college or university? You might take a communication class or a speech class, but these classes don’t teach you how to be effective in transmitting your ideas from yourself to other people. If you think back to your college days, you will probably agree that many professors are poor communicators also.
The result is that because we never learn how to communicate effectively before we enter the workforce, the things that actually work sometimes seem very uncomfortable.
Let me encourage you to make a commitment to learning and doing what will make you an effective communicator – not necessarily what’s comfortable – and enjoying the benefits of effective communication even if you were never taught how to do it when you were growing up.
I invite you to take advantage of the free resources here on my website and feel free to reach out to me if I can be of help to you or your organization.