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Getting the Most Out of Communication

Getting the Most Out of Communication

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.”    —Anthony Robbins

When attempting to build yourself up as a leader, communication is key. Through Holdsworth, we have the opportunity to learn from great leaders, such as Christina Harbridge who wrote Swayed: How to Communicate for Impact. She stressed the importance of talking in the way that people commit. In her writing, she also states that we must be a great listener so people feel heard and understood.

There are four different styles and preferences of listeners that we need to be mindful of when communicating. The first style is the ‘we’ thinkers. This group of people wants what is best for all. The second group is the ‘goal’ group. They focus on a goal and want to do what is needed to fulfill the goal. Next, we have the ‘processors’ group. They need to know all the steps involved to get a task completed. Finally, we have the ‘idea’ group. This group focuses on different ideas when attempting to tackle a task. Harbridge has found that when leaders communicate a particular outcome, they should speak in the manner in which each style listens. So, how do we do this? One way is to be a great listener. In fact, listening is just as important as speaking. 

Most of us want to feel heard and understood, and one way to do this is to employ great listening skills. Harbridge states that if we ignore a person’s need to be understood, then we ruin the potential to influence them to seek our particular outcome. Based on her research, we can conclude that if we truly listen and seek to understand our audience, we will be more equipped to speak to how they commit; therefore, they will be willing to listen.

Being a leader and attempting to gain influence over others takes communicating and listening. According to Harbridge, there are some things you can do to help produce the best outcome. Here are some suggestions that will lead to increased listening.

  • Asking vs. telling
  • Examples
  • Visuals
  • Being open and curious about the other person

In conclusion, when we speak we need to be aware of how our audience commits, and we should meet them on their level of commitment. If not, they will likely tune out until we say something that will pique their interest. We should design our communication with the end-user in mind; thus, we should talk the way others listen. 


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