“Coming together is a beginning; Keeping together is progress; Working together is success.” — Henry Ford
This is a beautiful quote, and effective communication is the common thread that binds all three together.
Even when the person you're communicating with speaks the same language as you, a lot gets lost in translation. The way we communicate is influenced by our individual perspectives on the world, our diverse backgrounds and environments, the words we choose, our body language, and our attitude.
And sometimes, we fail at doing so effectively.
One thing you need to keep in mind is that every individual is unique. Therefore, you might need to communicate the same message in different ways depending on who you are speaking with.
Another thing is that communication is a two-way street. You are not communicating when you are the only one doing the talking. Learn to listen with the intent of understanding—your team has insights that might be different from your point of view.
In order to piece together the whole picture, you need to see it from different angles, and your perspective is very limited to assuming that you’ve seen it all. Through an exchange of ideas, you and your team can enrich each other and grow together.
Selective listening—hearing only what you want to hear and what is favorable to you—is a surefire way to fail. Being attentive is good, but it is not enough. The highest form of listening is empathic listening: hearing others’ opinions and seeing things from their vantage point.
Trust is also an important ingredient in effective communication. Without trust, collaboration is difficult.
Sometimes, communication can be heated, and disagreements are inevitable. But if you’ve built a culture of trust with your team, the arguments would transform into productive discussions.
You can run a business on your own, but you won’t get too far. As long as you are working with others, be it a client, stakeholder, or employee, effective communication is a powerful tool at your disposal.
And as James Humes said, “The art of [effective] communication is the language of leadership.”
Thank you for reading A Brilliant Tribe.