Communication can be hard. You’re trying to get your point across and hoping the other person will get it. Too often, the person you’re talking to is distracted and the message can get missed. Here are some tips inspired by song titles to help you become a more effective communicator…
Say My Name (Destiny’s Child) People love to hear their own name. Long before Beyonce and Destiny’s Child, Dale Carnegie advised that the sweetest words to anyone’s ears is their own name. Learn people’s names and say them often.
I Can See Clearly Now (Johnny Nash) Communication is the answer to every problem. Getting the whole picture requires 2-way communication. 2-way communication means both sending and receiving messages which includes asking questions and listening for meaning. If you can do that you will become a master of clear communication.
Stronger (Kelly Clarkson) Communication can be hard! Kelly nailed it when she said what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Every time you tackle a difficult conversation you are building up your communication muscles.
Controversy (Prince) It’s one thing for Prince to sing about it but it should go without saying that you should avoid stirring up unnecessary controversy. Stay away from explosive topics like politics, religion, or anything in the news.
Call Me Maybe (Carly Rae Jepsen) Don’t be afraid to make the first move. I used this line on my husband long before this song came out. We had been chatting casually for a while and I got tired of waiting so I finally said ‘You know you can call me’. He did and the rest is history.
Cruel To Be Kind (Nick Lowe) This 80’s tune has a lot of truth to it. People can become blind to their own shortcomings and you could be doing someone a favor by bringing it to light. If you are a leader it’s not only kind, it’s your obligation. Just be nice if you decide to say something.
Sweet Talkin’ Woman (Electric Light Orchestra) Men and women alike will attract more bees with honey than with vinegar. Some people think ‘Why do I have to sugarcoat what I want to say?’. You don’t, but you should ask yourself if you are being as effective as you’d like. You may get your way by making demands but people won’t want to work with you for long.
Got To Be Real (Cheryl Lynn) Be yourself! Building trust and credibility is extremely critical to becoming an effective communicator. Don’t hide or gloss over mistakes. Being open makes you human and that makes you more trustworthy. In another twist of irony, not knowing everything actually increases your credibility. Researching and citing 3rd party resources makes you look even smarter.
Shake It Off (Taylor Swift) You will run into people who aren’t very nice or who say mean things. Don’t take it personally. You never know what’s going on with someone else that makes them act a certain way or say certain things. The truth is, we’ll never know why people do what they do but you can rest assured that it has nothing to do with you.
Can’t Stop The Feeling (Justin Timberlake) Try. People experience 4 main feelings – glad, mad, sad, and afraid. Get in tune to your feelings and how you react when you’re experiencing them to make sure you’re communicating appropriately. While you shouldn’t try to stuff your feelings you don’t have to act on every feeling you have either. A sign of maturity and high emotional intelligence is the ability to manage your feelings.
Call Me (Blondie) Are you texting or emailing when a phone call would be better? Take a hint from Blondie and just pick up the phone and make a call. Email is quick and easy, but sometimes picking up the phone is more efficient and more effective. A general rule of thumb is if your email conversation will take 3 or more exchanges, pick up the phone.
I Heard It Through The Grapevine (Marvin Gaye) The grapevine is a fast way for news to travel but its quality and substance are generally lacking. Being part of the grapevine is counter-productive and can give you a bad reputation. If you are a leader, prune the grapevine at the root by making sure your team gets all the important information directly from you.
Liz Uram is a keynote speaker who helps people turn their great ideas and good intentions into real results!