Are You an Effective Communicator?

(Are you an effective communicator?)

Of all of the facets that go into making successful relationships, communications is probably the most important. No matter what relationship is considered, sales, personnel management, vendors, even family, and personal, etc., it is effective communication that leads to successful relationships.

When communicating with someone, the real key is to first understand them and “where they are coming from”. Only then, should you communicate your position or points. This is probably the hardest habit in effective communication to develop, but is imperative to master, if you are to be an effective communicator. It is natural for us to feel that the recipient must hear “our story” or point of view. We must develop the virtue of patience and be good listeners. In actuality, the one who does the most listening actually controls the conversation, and receives the most from it.

There must be an “exchange” of information. Only “talking” “doesn’t do it”, nor does just “hearing”. There must be a “back and forth” flow of information. This can be facilitated on your part by repeating what the other person has said. A by-product of this, is that the other person will feel validated in their conversation with you.

The information being communicated must be meaningful to the one receiving it. If the receiver is not interested in the information, it will “go in one ear and out the other”, or may never even go in one ear. Therefore it is vitally important that you observe their body language and eye contact with you.

Remember that hearing is not listening. Listening is key to effective communication, but comprehending is all important. Without comprehension, listening is only half of the communication process.

The information that is exchanged must be clear and complete. If it “sounds good”, but is not clear, it is not effective communication. It is important to realize that “clarity” is in the “eyes” (mind) of the listener. Therefore, it is important to ask the listener for feedback to be sure that you have communicated effectively.

Always get confirmation that the information or message you have given is understood. This is why teachers give exams. Questions must be asked around the points being communicated to determine that the listener comprehends the information correctly. They may not agree, but they must comprehend correctly.

There are multiple ways to communicate. The involvement of as many of the five senses (audio, visual, taste, kinesthetic, and smell) that you can. Interestingly, new grocery stores are now experimenting with sounds and smells in the various department of their stores. The senses beyond sight, and touch are obviously very important. People have individual dominant ways in which they communicate, and it is important to determine the recipient’s dominant communication senses. Be sure that the message is consistent in all of the ways that it is communicated.

When we master the art of effective communication, virtually every aspect of a quality relationship is enhanced, and our individual success in building quality relationships is assured.

Lessons in Life Gained From Business

(Part 2 of 2)

I am a “trench worker”, having been “in the trenches” owning, growing, and successfully selling 15 businesses over 40 years. I have learned valuable lessons during this “in the trenches” work which can be directly applied to life. These lessons came directly from my business experiences. Here are some of them.

Economics is a very powerful force. Countries have gone to war over economic issues. I learned the power of economics, and to respect basic economic principles. If we violate the basic principles of economics in our life, we are destined to have perpetual turmoil. This turmoil will manifest itself in a variety of ways such as divorce, bankruptcy, and even suicide. All of these terrible life consequences can be avoided by learning and applying the basic laws of economics in our personal and business lives.

Over time, business will make one humble, it did me. I began my business career by thinking I was “invincible”, and could not fail. I thought that all success was related to my great expertise, talents and wisdom. Business taught me that I was not the center of all things, and that sometimes forces beyond my control will affect my destiny. It taught me that failure is not fatal, but is for learning. I learned the real virtue in life is to make significant contributions to the lives of others, and this can only be done by being humbly in the service of others.

I learned to be accountable for what I do and say. When we are accountable for our actions, we gain certain strength. This strength provides the power to effectively deal with the issues of life. Being accountable allows us to develop self respect, and the respect of others who interface with us. This respect, like a magnet, draws people to us, which provides additional opportunities for personal growth and development.

Often in business there is the temptation to sometimes be less than ‘completely’ honest to expedite a situation or our agenda. This may not mean being overtly dishonest, but just not completely honest in our dealing with others. I learned that ultimately, one has to live with themselves and their actions, and knowing that one has dealt with everyone in every situation honestly is a great comfort, and a true builder of character.

If one is to stay in business, one has to operate their business in a fiscally responsible manner. This is also true in our personal life. The true lesson is to live within “our means”. The “having” of things just for the sake of having them, or because others have them, is foolish. It is much more valuable to have sound financial security than to “have things”. Someone else will always have more, bigger, or better “things”. Having the “inner peace of mind” that sound financial responsibility brings is invaluable.

It is obvious that all of these “lessons” in business are interrelated. Not one of them is mutually exclusive, but they all are applicable to our personal life. Taken together, if learned well, and practiced, they will lead to the ultimate goal in our life, which I believe is Happiness and Fulfillment.


(Part 1 of 2)

I am a “trench worker”, having been “in the trenches” owning, growing, and successfully selling 15 businesses over 40 years. I have learned valuable lessons during this “in the trenches” work which can be directly applied to life. These lessons came directly from my business experiences. Here are some of them.

Being in business has taught me the importance of attitude. Not only to have a positive mental attitude, but the role that the correct attitude plays in our success. Attitude is an invaluable guide to instantly improving the way you feel about life, and your place in the world. The correct attitude helps you to effectively deal with adverse situations as well as those that are positive. It is the lubricant for your “psychic engine” that keeps it running smoothly. Sometimes we require an “attitude adjustment”, which is normal. This can be done in many ways including attending appropriate seminars, workshops, profound reading, and associating with the right people. Indeed, I believe we draw “psychic energy” from those whom we associate, therefore choose your friends and associates carefully. Avoid those who will drain your “psychic energy. No matter what situation presents itself, if you have the correct attitude, you will make the correct decisions, and every experience will be a growth experience.

Our reality is actually based on how and what we perceive. One of the blessings of being in business is that it exposes a person to many situations, circumstances and opportunities. These all influence our perception of reality. If our attitude is correct, our perceptions can lead us to new growth opportunities. These growth opportunities expand our horizons, and will significantly influence our personal lives. In essence, being in business broadens our world of experiences which influences our perceptions of things. This, intern, influences and expands our perceptions of reality in our personal lives.

Being in business has taught me the value of having good health. Without good health, one has a significant handicap in life. I learned to respect and value good health, and to not take it for granted. I learned that one has to take time, virtually every day, to maintain good health. Good physical health will enhance good mental health which is essential in being successful in business and life. Good health is essential to the maintenance of the correct attitude. They are directly related. Keep the correct attitude as you “re-attain” good health, then the good health will sustain your correct attitude. The experiences of business and life are a constant “draw” on our mental and “psychic” energy. With good health, we continually have the reserves to provide the energy that is required.

I learned to be responsible for my actions, to no make excuses, and accept the consequences of my decisions. It is tempting to place responsibility for consequences on someone or something else. To do this, actually robs us of the ability to grow and develop. Failures or set backs have been a major learning situations for me.

I learned the value of developing quality relationships. It takes time and the expenditure of energy to develop quality relationships. Once developed, they need to be nurtured and maintained. Quality relationships are the cornerstones of any real rewarding life. No one is a “rock or an island”, and life is full and meaningful when we share it with others who we truly value and who value us.