Think before you speak

Written by Graham Yemm

How many times have you said something and realised thatrepparttar person, or people, onrepparttar 142513 receiving end have not fully understood what you meant or headed off and done something different to what you intended?

Have you ever finished a presentation or meeting wishing you had put your point across better?

This article is not about keeping cool or holding your temper before you speak, although that would not be a bad thing for many of us at times! The focus is going to be about improving your ability to influence others, especially when communicating verbally.

How often do any of us stop to think before we speak? It is probably fair to suggest that most of us tend to decide what we want to achieve orrepparttar 142514 point we want to put across – then we launch into speaking. If you recognise yourself in this, you are inrepparttar 142515 vast majority. Taking a short time to consider a few other factors can improve our effectiveness. One message which can help to improve our impact (and reducerepparttar 142516 frustrations!) is to acknowledge: “the meaning of my communication isrepparttar 142517 response I get.”

When we are in face to face communicationrepparttar 142518 generally accepted figures indicate that only 7% ofrepparttar 142519 impact of our message is due torepparttar 142520 actual words andrepparttar 142521 balance is made up from non-verbal elements, including tone of voice. Althoughrepparttar 142522 words themselves are only a small part, and need to be congruent withrepparttar 142523 other elements for our message to carryrepparttar 142524 real impact – they are still vital to effective communication.

It is strange to think how little training we get in speaking and listening as means of communication! Yet, in our adult lives,repparttar 142525 majority of our interactions are based on verbal communication. When you think back to your school days, how much time was spent on learning to read and write? (Although, when we consider current levels of literacy we may want to debate whether this is particularly effective!)

To improve our impact when we need to deal with people face to face, whether on a one to one basis or in groups, it can help to stop and think of a few things before we launch into whatever we want to say. One ofrepparttar 142526 first things is to consider our audience first. When we are “receiving” any communication it passes through various “filters” before we decoderepparttar 142527 message. These can include:

  • Our own mood and emotions will influence how we receiverepparttar 142528 message.
  • Our impression ofrepparttar 142529 sender
  • Past dealings with that person
  • Howrepparttar 142530 message impacts on us
  • Our level of understanding ofrepparttar 142531 words being used
  • How we process words
  • Our internal “programmes”
How often, as a sender do we ever take time to think about any of these points? Taking some time think aboutrepparttar 142532 listener or your audience will improve our ability to communicate with others. We may find ourselves expressing ourselves differently – and more effectively. You may have hear aboutrepparttar 142533 idea of “put yourself inrepparttar 142534 other’s shoes” or variations onrepparttar 142535 theme. People who are really good communicators do this, whether they are doing it consciously or not. By considering things fromrepparttar 142536 other party’s position you will get a different perspective. This enables you to consider your message in more ways – yours and theirs!

As we go through life we develop our own style of expressing ourselves. The key to becoming more effective is to increase our flexibility, so that we can present our messages to suitrepparttar 142537 receivers.

Take a moment to think aboutrepparttar 142538 options here. Suppose we were to describe a holiday resort.

Imaginerepparttar 142539 clear blue sky, andrepparttar 142540 lovely sea withrepparttar 142541 sun’s rays reflecting off it in bright spots. The white sand ofrepparttar 142542 beach,repparttar 142543 small beach bar withrepparttar 142544 people sitting around, looking tanned and smiling asrepparttar 142545 chat together. The view inland is of bright white cottages and buildings going uprepparttar 142546 hill withrepparttar 142547 dark green leaves ofrepparttar 142548 olive trees.

Maybe, you can imaginerepparttar 142549 warmth ofrepparttar 142550 sun,repparttar 142551 feel ofrepparttar 142552 sand. The water feels so welcoming as you walk intorepparttar 142553 sea. When you come out of there and head forrepparttar 142554 bar, it isrepparttar 142555 thought ofrepparttar 142556 cold drink slipping down and feeling good about being relaxed. The smells of what they are cooking on an open grill waft across to make you think about eating.

Or, is itrepparttar 142557 idea ofrepparttar 142558 quiet ofrepparttar 142559 bay, broken byrepparttar 142560 occasional sound of a jetski? As you head forrepparttar 142561 bar, you imaginerepparttar 142562 chatter ofrepparttar 142563 various conversations,repparttar 142564 different accents. You can think aboutrepparttar 142565 music being played and how you might talking with others aboutrepparttar 142566 place and planning what to do for dinner later. Mayberepparttar 142567 birds where singing inrepparttar 142568 morning or evening.

Blogs and Chat Forums: The Unofficial Posting Rules

Written by Dina Giolitto,

Have you been hanging around in internet forums and/or making blog comments lately? Public posting is growing ever-popular. One thing I've noticed, is that if you use it for business purposes and you accidentally blurtrepparttar wrong thing, it can get ugly pretty quick. A remark that was never intended to be malevolent turns out to offend somebody, and next thing you know, you're engaged in yet another public forum ping pong match. This can be downright exhausting. So is there a 'proper' way to conduct oneself onrepparttar 142211 network, inrepparttar 142212 forum, and onrepparttar 142213 blog? From what I've seen so far, I have to say yes.

May I present: The Unofficial Internet Posting Rules.

1. Always assume thatrepparttar 142214 other person has good intentions.

There you are, sprinkling comments here and there and having a fine old time, when suddenly up pops someone who begs to differ. A good debate can be envigorating, but if things escalate, you may begin to feel attacked and/or misunderstood. Do you have a right to feel this way? Who is attacking who anyway?

Internet conversations feel remote because they are. You can't diffuse a tense conversation by cracking a joke or meeting someone's eyes with a silent apology. Internet 'arguments' can string along for days because, unlike a verbal argument which quickly fades from your memory, they're harsh words frozen in time. Someone who is ripping you a new one onrepparttar 142215 public forum may actually be a wonderful person who thinks a lot like you, but you wouldn't know because all you see are those hostile words onrepparttar 142216 screen that won't go away!

For this reason, it's unbelievably important not to take internet skirmishes to heart. The truth is, you may be taking offense for no good reason. And even if someone really does seem to be out for your blood... who cares? Click away and they're gone. Besides;repparttar 142217 world is watching. How much of a scene do you want to make?

2. Ditchrepparttar 142218 sarcasm.

Sarcasm really does not translate onrepparttar 142219 internet. Sarcasm is my favorite form of communication, so believe me I've tried. People can't tell by your tone or gestures if you're serious, kidding, scathing, or what, so if you want to communicate effectively and efficiently, steer clear of sarcasm. I'll give you an example of sarcasm causing confusion onrepparttar 142220 internet.

Networker 1: Say, Networker 2, how was that teleseminar you attended?

Networker 2: It was really something special.

"It was really something special." Hmmm. What could that mean, exactly? Sounds a little smart-alecky, but who knows! The reader can't be sure, so a straightforward answer might berepparttar 142221 better option. "The guy was a good speaker, but I felt like he was telling me things I already knew. I'll have to pick a more advanced course next time." Now, there's a complete answer that's based in fact and well-expressed!

Some people use emoticons to convey when they're being sarcastic, such asrepparttar 142222 smiley :) for "just kidding" ,repparttar 142223 wink ;) which might mean, "I'm just teasing," orrepparttar 142224 guy-with-his-tongue-out :P-- "I know I'm being goofy." Other people use internet gestures, likerepparttar 142225 *grin* andrepparttar 142226 :::shiver:::.

Emoticons are okay for a less formal public forum setting, but not so much for business networking. Use them sparingly. How are you supposed to appear professional if you're throwing (((hugs))) everyone's way? I don't know about you, but I don't go around hugging people I don't know!

All this being said: stick to literal communication whenever possible. I know more than anybody how tough this is. If you're really unsure about it, you can always just be a forum 'lurker' for a while, until you getrepparttar 142227 hang of how it's done. 3. Instead of offering opinions, ask questions.

People love to argue. Make a statement, and by God, someone out there is going to contradict it. If you enjoy and know how to playrepparttar 142228 debate game, take them on... it will be a learning experience for all. But if conflict makes your tummy hurt, you can spur on a discussion in a more genteel way; by asking questions!

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