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We buy it in 10 seconds! 


     You, the manager of other people, or animals (or a household, which often of course involves both!) can probably be doing a more effective job of communicating.  You think? 

     With a few thousand communication skills student experiences under my belt, I can assure you that every once in awhile, it serves a good purpose to have someone rattle your cage a little about the ways you come across to others. 

     Well, this could be your day!  So, grit your teeth, dig in your heels, and take this for what it’s worth:  In case you haven’t considered it, TWO-WAY communicating beats ONE-WAY communicating hands down! 

     The only exceptions occur with military and quasi-military-types of operations, or safety circumstances where orders must be given and followed.  Okay, sounds great, so let’s just get on with it and have more discussions and fewer directives.  Sorry, it’s not that simple, but –knowing that I wouldn’t be wasting your time with quick-fix solutions– you already figured that out, right? 

     Effective (and that’s the key word!) two-way communicating requires effective listening. Effective listening requires effective feedback, which takes longer, can be more difficult and is often more complicated.  But, hey, you’re always preaching to keep things simple!  True!  But getting to “simple” often takes work, and the work process can be complex. 

     There are tradeoffs in everything, right?  You want to communicate your message clearly and minimize the chance of errors or misunderstanding?  Then you have to be willing to put in the effort that helps ensure your odds for success.

     Consider how complicated the mix of communication modes can be even before you think of dissecting the subject.  There are three modes of communication: 

1) Symbolic.  Consider clothing choices (colors, brands, styles, etc.) and the way the clothing is worn; hair colors and styles; grooming; jewelry (types, amounts, values, compatibility, wristwatch, etc.); cosmetics/makeup (types, amounts, tastfulness); type and style of cellphone (and ring!); automobile driven (brand, model, style, color, etc.); residence type and location; living space and personal space.  All of these “things” and “attitudes” communicate.

2) Verbal.  Words themselves do not have meaning; the ways words are used by the people who use them have meaning.  Consider the variety of interpretations possible for every word used, depending on how/when/where it’s used, how it’s used or emphasized, how often it’s used.  What for example does “heavy” mean?  “Straight”?  “Usually”?  

3) Nonverbal.  This includes ambulation (do you swish, stomp, swagger, bounce?); touching–the most powerful! (where, when, how hard or easy, how often, purpose?); eye contact (trust, sincerity, forthrightness, blinking, staring); posturing (arms and legs crossed, slouching, standing or sitting erect); tics; subvocals (uh, er, hum, grunts, groans); distancing (comfort zone space); gesturing; vocalisms (emphasis on various words).  Professor Raymond Birdwhistell’s studies tell us that the face alone can produce over 250,000 expressions!  

     WHEW!  A lot to be processing with each interaction, yet–for most people– it takes place automatically, in an instant!  Salespeople, in fact, need to remember that buying decisions are made or lost in the first 10 seconds of interaction . . . which is literally consumed with all the above observations, which is why first impressions are so critical!       halalpiar

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