Effective communication is one of the most challenging aspects in life. Regardless of your role in any organization (company, family, church, etc.), understanding the intentions of others and communicating your objectives is trying at times, and occasionally downright frustrating. However, if you want to build strong relationships of trust, effective communication is absolutely critical. Here are five key considerations:
- Recognize the issue. In the majority of cases where poor communication is the problem, the primary issue is not recognizing poor communication. Too often it seems the problem lies with the other person, or they don’t listen, or they are just stubborn. More often they don’t understand your intentions. Step back and look at the bigger picture; you might be surprised by what you see.
- Look for solutions. Never try to pin the problem on the other person. Talk through the issues and look for signs of misunderstanding. Take the approach that you want to solve problems and the answers will follow.
- Exercise patience. It’s easy to get frustrated when you disagree with another person’s actions or behavior. Exercising (literally having or working out) patience is key to solving problems. Lead out in making things happen to improve your relationships. Be humble and open to things you did wrong.
- Forgive. Holding grudges and acting out of pride has brought down many companies, families and even nations. The simple solution is to forgive and move forward without holding grudges.
- Don’t wait. When you recognize an issue, don’t hesitate to act. The longer you wait the harder it is to approach the person and have the conversation. Act quickly and you will be surprised how much easier it is to resolve the problem.
Every relationship is worth the effort it takes to communicate effectively. Leaders, regardless of their role, need to focus constantly on assuring they communicate effectively and listen intently. Make it a habit; it will save you from having to face much bigger problems.
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The Product Management Perspective: Communication is key to effective product management. Keep a close eye on all your relationships and make sure you are communicating effectively.