Making Sure Your Message Gets Through

Consider what percentage of the full meaning of communication is derived from verbal communication? Para-verbal (such as the tone of voice)? Nonverbal (such as gestures)? Various research provides percentages that vary, but the general consensus is that the Verbal?-?the words?-?count only for approximately 10%, the para-verbal for 40% and the nonverbal for 50%.

The learning here is that it is not only what you say that counts, it is mostly how you say it. And if approximately 50% of the meaning of the message is impacted by the non-verbal, what does that mean for any non-face-to-face communication such as email, blogs, Twitter, or even conference calls or webinars? Attention needs to be paid to apply good communication practices to the new shortened and speedy communication of today's world. An effective way to craft your message, face to face or in writing, is to use KUBA.

Just because there is more media and a constant and enormous flow of information does not mean that there does more understand.

The Critical Balance of Seeking and Telling

One of the most powerful ways to communicate and coach others is by effectively balancing asking good questions and making recommendations; seeking and telling. The key is not forgetting to ask questions and let the other person come up with ideas, suggestions, reactions, etc. It could be tempting?-?almost a communication trap?-?to get into a "telling mode" when communicating, especially in quick virtual bursts such as email or text messages. Asking good questions will allow the person you are communicating with to expand her thinking and open up the conversation. It is also an effective way to check for understanding by reformulating the other person's thoughts and asking a question.

Facing today's business reality is not an option. The challenging Cs: Complexity, Competitiveness, Change, Customer-Centric, Creativity, Collaboration, Culture are here, and we can't ignore them. Communicating in order to perform your work is also not an option. The options you have, or the decision you can make, is based on how effective you want your communication to be. The new technology, mediums, style, and pace of communication have their own idiosyncrasies. The mistake would be to think that proper communication cannot be achieved at such a fast pace. Methods and approaches can still be applied and learned to maximize the impact of your communication. As the retail experts insist on location, location, location, it is as imperative in our business and personal lives to communicate, communicate, and communicate… effectively.