“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” ― Epictetus
Why do we listen? To get information, to understand, to learn, and most importantly to influence. Research suggests that we only remember 25–50% of what we hear, as described by Edgar Dale’s Cone of Experience. There are three levels of listenings:
- Level 1: Listening to impress
- Level 2: Listening to learn
- Level 3: Listening to the understand
As part of being a good communicator, you have to be a good active listener — which is a simple technique that makes people feel heard. Here are some tips to be a good active listener:
Let people finish their thought-process
- Avoid finishing other people’s sentences
- Don’t interrupt
- Spend more time listening than talking
Pay attention to what people are saying
- Listen for non-verbal cues such as body language
- Make eye contact, face the speaker, nod occasionally, etc.
- Don’t jump to conclusions or judgments or prepare for rebuttal
After people are done talking
- Reframe what the others say to make sure you understand them correctly
- Ask a lot of questions, and do not answer questions with questions
- Think about your response after the person is done speaking
4 Ts of Communication
This is a great framework developed by More To Be that you can
use in any communication senior.
Timing is a key piece of communicating effectively.
- Is this a good time to bring this up?
- Am I being rational or emotional?
- Is this a good time to hear them out?
The tone of your voice often conveys more than your words do.
- What is the tone in my voice and my body language?
- What is the tone of our relationship?
- What is the overall tone of the environment we’re in at this moment?
The technique is how you say it
- Am I starting out with the positive?
- Am I using words like always and never?
- Am I owning my actions or playing the victim?
Tell people the TRUTH
- Is what I am saying the truth?
- Is what they are saying to me a truth that I need to hear even If their timing, tone, and technique stinks?
- Is it possible for me to be teachable, in spite of how I feel, and apply this truth to my life?
7 Cs of Communication
The seven C’s of communication are a list of seven principles that you can use for all your communication to help you communicate effectively. This seven-point checklist is a great tool for delivering engaging and effective messages.
1. Clear: Make the goal of your message clear to your recipient. Ask yourself what the purpose of your communication is.
2. Concise: Your message should also be brief and to the point. Why communicate your message in six sentences when you can do it in three?
3. Concrete: Ensure your message has important details and facts, but that nothing deters the focus of your message.
4. Correct: Make sure what you’re writing or saying is accurate. Bad information doesn’t help anybody. Also, make sure that your message is typo-free.
5. Coherent: Does your message make sense? Check to see that all of your points are relevant and that everything is consistent with the tone and flow or your text.
6. Complete: Your message is complete when all relevant information is included in an understandable manner and there is a clear “call to action”. Does your audience know what you want them to do?
7. Courteous: Ensure that your communication is friendly, open, and honest, regardless of what the message is about. Be empathetic and avoid passive-aggressive tones.