To Communicate Or Not To Communicate – It is your Choice


Yes. Whether ‘To communicate’ with someone about something OR ‘Not To Communicate’ is your choice. Mindset – The factor that really decides the choice we choose at a given point of time.

Mindset is nothing but ‘Set Mind’. Our brain has a wonderful ability to train and make decisions based on prior experiences. From birth our mind forms cognitive patterns based on information consumed through sensory organs. All those forms of communication signals is then converted into ideas and stored. This process happens every second and even in this process every human develops unique idea about communication & its components also. Everyone of us have our own definition for questions like – what is good communication? what is bad communication? who are all good/bad communicator in my scale? Whom I want to show as my examples? etc.

We show our idea about communication in every communication opportunity we encounter and even train (or fine tune) our ideas based on outcome of current opportunity. At one point of time in life, when we learn our communication is bad, we don’t really take the comments as it is. We try to defend with all our reasoning which I listed earlier post under myths & reasons that ruin communication development.

By the way, removing all negative reasoning in mind with positive reasons in one complete stretch is not possible – but it is possible in step-by-step way. Training of ones own mind & forming an idea (or pattern) requires long time, but once idea formed it is really long time to break that out. That’s why mindset can be termed as ‘Set Mind’.

Getting proper mindset is essential for communication. Now, the main question from you is “So what do you want me to do now?” Here I give just 4 pointers.

1. Rewrite your definition of communication in mind – To rewrite definition of communication, first you need to recollect what do you think about communication, purpose of communication, good and bad communications, different situations you come across in life, outcome of communication opportunity, your fears, your earlier victories, whom do you think good communicator and why. After recollection, write down which are all thing you do different from what you think as good communication – in this step try not to satisfy your mind by giving some reasoning for the deviation between what you think good and what you did as it may take you back to old state only. Remove the myths and restating the purpose of communication often will make the whole process of easing your set mind.

2. Work on deviations – What are you deviations? To you what you want to achieve and what you are currently doing. Main item here are – stage fear and fear due to status difference between you and people whom you like to interact. Most of the self help book on communication talks about it & most of its content deals around anyone of this – rehearsal, boosting confidence by seeing yourself in mirror, correct outfit, eye contact, body language (non verbal), making impact using different tones & powerful words (verbal), don’t be anxious, etc.

3. Make a best choice & right choice – One of the outcome of communication is ‘relationship’. Basic necessity of human race is living in a community which has foundation as good relationship with others. So making right & best choice in every communication opportunity is very important. Communication is like a two-sided sword. Balancing your communication at a given situation is very important to increase your success. Many time our choice not to communicate causes misunderstanding & even spoiled a great opportunity. On the other side, over communicating also create issues. One needs to know when to start when to stop – what to share what not to share. All these comes through experience and need to be consciously controlled by mind.

4. Don’t stop, repeat – If you felt your choice in previous opportunity was bad, don’t stop and stamp yourself as ‘Bad Communicator of the world’. Just go back to step 1 and rewrite your definition once again – work on your difference. Okay – if you felt your choice in previous opportunity is good, don’t stop there you need to repeat the same thing again and again in every opportunity as it gives you right result.

Getting better with Communication


I stopped with a question in last blog post – How can we get strong communication skills?

To analyze further, let us first take a look at general definition of communication:

Definition of Communication: Exchange of information.

Exchange of information has two folds 1) information exchange within the mind (biologically saying inside brain) – i.e. gathering information, selection/rejection of ideas, words, structuring, processing emotions – 2) delivering information to external world. If the first one happens properly then second one also happens without any issue.

Every human processes outside information through 5 major sensory organs. Even internal organs sends information to brain through nervous systems that’s why we feel hunger, pain, sleepiness, etc. Whether you like it or not, brain does information processing throughout the life without any rest. In a day, one needs to talk to himself entire 24 hours & every second. Before delivery of information to external world, brain processes, structures and ques understandable sentences. While you are delivering processed information, brain didn’t stop – it does background processing of some more information or prepares next topic and stack it in the que for delivery. So, it is very important how you process information & what do you think about communication in your mind. Here are few factors that ruin communication skill development:

1. ‘Stranger’ factor – Most of the situations, you may be a stranger in the crowd – you may know one or two people & always try to keep your communication with those whom you know much. You may not approach others because you tend to think that “if I communicate my idea in this group, what do they think about me? Will they not think I am a new person and don’t have any say on this?”. One needs to come out of this cause to excel in communication skill.

2. ‘All those around me know more than what I know’ factor – This factor affects most juniors in organizations. As I mentioned earlier, goal of communication is to clarify or make others know you understood certain things, so one should remove this factor in mind to achieve the goal of communication.

3. ‘Earlier communication was bad’ factor – Whatever be the reason for your previous bad communication, every communication opportunity is new and unique as it happens in completely in different situations (may be with new set of people). If one keep on thinking about earlier bad communication and stay quite then communication skill will never get better. Here I like to share my experience on this factor. Four years back, after writing first few posts in this blog, I got feedback on my poor language handling in those articles. I felt very bad about my communication & even I thought of closing the blog, but I decided to take it as challenge & wanted to improve my communication skill – I posted regular posts and improved it to certain level. Now I reached 148 posts.

Communication is 80% mind (i.e. brain) related and 20% external delivery process. First step towards improving communication skill is to train your brain for better. Let us check how to develop proper mindset for stronger communication in next article post.

Communication – Is it tough skill? or an easy one?


My answer to the title question is – “Communication is a wonder skill that become tough or easy based on ones’ mindset.”

I mentioned Communication as ‘Wonder Skill’ as it brings wonder into the life. Excellent communication makes life brighter and more successful & in the downside, poor communication takes life to lowest point. I heard a lot of myths around communication and developing the skill. Myths are belief that strongly formed an image about something and breaking it is bit hard. To learn communication skill one need to come out of these myths. Here are the popular ones:

1. Communication is meant only for career: Communication is a human skill (even I can say every living creatures in earth has it) and we should not restrict only for career. Communication skill is required every second and every activity we perform.

2. Communication is just about talking to someone: Most of the time, communication synonymous to oral communication like speeches, presentations, discussions, etc. but communication is beyond just oral form. Writing, body language also constitutes communication.

3. To be good in Communication skill I need to know lot of hard words: This myth is a powerful one and most of the believers are well-educated ones. Hard words will make the communication more harder  & difficult to understand. Goal of communication is (and not limited to) i) asking/answering questions to gaining/impart knowledge ii) providing/gaining clarity on items iii) delivering/receiving information related to areas of interest.

Though millions of books, seminars, coaching classes available on communication, still many of us lack communication skill even after going through those. What is stopping us from taking a leap and achieving our life goals? How can we get strong communication skills?

I answer these questions in my next blog post.

Key Leadership Skill – Relationship


There are two kinds of people in this life:
Those who walk into a room and say,
“Well, here I am!”
And those who walk in and say, “Ahh, there you are.”
—- Frederick L. Collins

Above quotation tells nicely about the essence of relationship building. All our worldly activities becomes successful with our best relationships. You might have read a story about a dog that saved its master’s life. How come that is possible for a dog? It is the outcome of master’s great relationship with his dog.

Relationship - Networking

Relationship – Networking

Better relationship leads to better understanding. Understanding gives meaning, comfort and success in life. All of these leads to ultimate happiness which is what everyone wants and searching in this world. In search of meaning for his life Einstein said – “Life isn’t worth living, unless it is lived for someone else.”

It is worth pointing one event from Einstein’s history. Toward the end of his life, he removed the portraits of two scientists — Isaac Newton and James Maxwell — from his wall. He replaced them with portraits of Mahatma Gandhi and Albert Schweitzer. Einstein explained that it was time to replace the image of success with the image of service.

Networking is part of leaders everyday life. Building relationship is most important for their success. Out of those two types quoted start of this article – which one is yours? Are you the one extending help? or Are the one getting more help from others?

Are you mostly trying to make yourself happy? or are you interested in the happiness of those around you? Look around. Closely watch all Leaders around you. It is obvious that, in their life, service occupies most of their time than self-centered activities.

Foundation of Leadership lies on the Relationship between Leader and Follower. It is another key skill for any leader. Strength of relationship of leader and follower decides the levels of commitment & involvement towards the vision. This eventually brings unbreakable bond that leads to success.

Key Leadership Skill – Communication


Communication is the key skill for Leaders. Do you think you need a special stage or dais or forum to show you are a good communicator? No. Even communication between just two people will make you a good leader between you two.

Communication

Communication

Let us understand the events that happens when two people communicate or exchange information:

* Each one tries to show their proficiency on the topic they are presenting/discussing
* Each one may have different views on same issue or topic
* Each one tries to influence other to agree with their view
* There could be mutual agreement on the conclusion
* At the end, even there is no mutual agreement, surely one get influenced by others’ opinion in one or other way
* We never know who or how much we influence

*Reflection of the influence is not immediate or straight forward. But we will show it on some other day in different ways

Consider each communication opportunity as opportunity to show your leadership ability. By doing so, you will be placing yourself well in your leadership path.