Communication needs to breathe

Trust it. We all get that gut instinct when we are communicating something to a team member and they are saying they get it, but you know they just aren’t getting it. Or, they are agreeing with you but you know they have some unexpressed reservations. On a podcast I was listening to this morning somebody said you could analyze a face in less than a third of one second. In a third of one second, you start to get a read on somebody and what they are thinking. This is one of our superpowers, but it only works if we trust it and then act on it. We have to read between the lines (either the lines on their forehead, or the lines they are speaking) to get at the truth. The truth might be that more explanation is necessary. The truth might be that they need to express some concern before moving forward. Whatever it is, as leaders let’s make room for the truth to bubble up to the surface. ┬áCommunication is not only about an exchange of words, it about an exchange of understanding. Understanding is verbal, physical, and emotional. So, maybe we have to slow things down and give communication a chance to breathe.

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on May 1, 2019

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