Up your communication impact with David Grossman, The Grossman Group

Posted October 17, 2011 in Communication, Latest News & Insights

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  90% of problems that I see happening in the workplace typically boil down to some kind of communication issue.  Close to twenty years ago, I was introduced to the “fact” that when it comes to the impact of a communication message, only 7% of our message is verbal (the words you use).  38% is vocal (your tone of voice) and 55% comes down to your body language.  With the abundant use of email to “solve” basic misunderstandings, no wonder so many problems escalate.  Last month, we had communications guru David Grossman share some highlights from his book You Can’t NOT Communicate 2. Here’s his list of the top 8 basics for how to deliver a message…

  1. Be audience obsessed… personally, I think most people are self-absorbed when it comes to thinking about what “they” want to say and how “they” want to be perceived.  Grossman’s recommendation is to come at any communication from the audience’s perspective and go from there.
  2. Make your messages clear, compelling and relevant… simple is best.  Leaders like Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines knew how to make a story stick by painting a picture that was easy to follow and for employees to get behind.
  3. Plan your communication… forget about the Nike adage “just do it”.  When it comes to communication, we should spend more time planning.  Think about it… we spend 80% of time in organizations communicating in one form or another.  How much time to we spend planning those messages?
  4. Set the context… make the information relevant to your audience or else they’ll just tune it out or fail to see how what you’re saying matters to them.
  5. Listen and check for understanding… sounds obvious but how many times do you leave meetings and find that colleagues have completely different takes on the discussion than you?
  6. Select the right vehicle… the higher the stakes, the better to use high touch communication methods like face to face.
  7. Communicate with truth and integrity… trust is a fragile thing.  It takes years to establish and one ill-advised move to shatter.  In times of crisis, say as much as you can about what you can talk about.  Eventually, the truth will come out.
  8. Match words to actions… we all are ultimately judged on what we do. So, think carefully about what you’re saying and decide whether or not you’re able to live up to your promises.

Check out David’s site for free resources and to order a copy of his latest book: You can’t NOT communicate 2.  In my experience, communication is one of those areas that we can all work to improve.

Join us this month when we welcome back Gina Mollicone-Long to our e-Roundtable platform to talk about Managing People for Peak Performance.  Knowing Gina, it will be a lively discussion.

Happy leading!


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