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Keeping these components in mind, I believe that there are at least five things that you can do if you want to do a better job of communicating during all those times you aren’t thinking about communicating.
Be aware. The first step to improving our subconscious communication skills is to be aware of how pervasive our communication is. Awareness helps us bring things out of subconscious and up to a conscious level. It is at conscious level we can work on them.
Be vigilant. Once we have decided we want to improve these skills and are aware of factors involved, we have to pay attention. Begin to more carefully notice how people react to you. Confirm your observations by restating your points if you feel you are miscommunicating. Being vigilant means taking more care and paying closer attention to your communication style and results.
Get feedback. I have learned over years that in some cases tone of my voice is too strong - that even when I’m not upset or frustrated by something, tone of my voice sometimes sends a different message. Without this feedback I wouldn’t even be aware of this issue. With feedback I can improve. Of course, you may receive positive feedback too – about things you are unaware of that serve you well. It is important to receive both encouragement and corrective ideas.
Make a plan. Work on areas you have noticed. Work on things you received feedback on. Practice new or different techniques. This step is all about modifying and reforming your habits into more successful ones.
Continue loop. Awareness, vigilance, feedback and practice are steps in a learning loop that you can apply over and over to continue to improve your subconscious communication skills.
The grammar isn’t great, but logic is perfect – you can’t not communicate. All of our actions, words and non actions send a message to those around us. To become more effective and better understood, we first need to recognize this fact, then take action to change our communications habits so we are communicating what we want to communicate, more of time.
Kevin Eikenberry is a leadership expert and the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group (http://KevinEikenberry.com), a learning consulting company. To receive a free Special Report on leadership that includes resources, ideas, and advice go to http://www.kevineikenberry.com/leadership.asp or call us at (317) 387-1424 or 888.LEARNER.