TAPP Tip-The Importance of being Effective (at Communicating, that is!)

Have you ever wondered how some people stay calm in a situation while others react?

Communication is something we all take for granted, especially in this age of technology. We send emails, make phone calls, video chat, and text as well as speak face to face. Effective communication can be more of a challenge. Every person has their own personality and with it a different communication style. So why do some people seem to communicate with ease in all while others struggle?

One factor can be knowing the identifying traits of each communication style and how to respond. Another factor is knowing what your own communication style tends to be. Although each person may utilize a different style, when someone recognizes the key characteristics of the other person’s style, they are better equipped to interact with them. There are certain phrases, key words, and even body language, which helps the listener determine what the communication style is, and how to best respond.

Communicating in person provides the most clues as to the communication style and emotional state of the other person… you can see the facial expressions and body language as well as listen to the words and tone. Video chatting is the next best to being there in person but not everyone wants to be on camera and it is not common to video chat with customers for routine conversations. It is easier to talk over another person on video than in person. Some non verbal cues are hard to read during a video chat. These are nonexistent for regular phone calls.

Email and texting can be tricky. It is easy to misinterpret something that has been said, particularly tone. If you are upset with a situation or there is an issue which is negative, have someone else read your email before sending and ask them about your tone. Were you factual and calm? Are you clear in stating the issue and possible solutions? Being clear in your message will help to reduce any friction as well as avoid endless back and forth. NEVER hit send when you are mad. You might say something you regret.

When do you feel like you have communicated the best? When do you struggle?