Have you ever had a conversation with someone and when you were done you were not sure if they really got it?
I know this happens a lot.
Why is that?
We all have filters that we hear through. Like rose-colored glasses that blur our vision so does that filter that clogs our ears. Our hearing filter is an interesting one to dissect. It’s a complex mixture of your previous experiences. How well you emotionally handle those experiences makes a difference in how well you hear/listen to what people are actually saying.
It’s been tax season at our firm and I noticed when things heat up and we are busier we miss things. I wondered why this would happen and I started seeing that the clarity of a given situation wasn’t clearly explained or understood.
We decided to dive deeper and find out why this was happening. It was interesting to sit down with all the managed-chaos and make us talk about this issue. No one wants to talk about not communicating. It’s like a nagging situation that everyone wants to ignore, right? We thought the software was helping. We thought we had this down. A lot of emotions happen when you feel like you maybe failing.
A few days prior, I was listening to my favorite preacher on the radio as I was coming to work. He said that many people don’t communicate for two reasons. #1 they were prideful and didn’t want to ask for help and #2 they were insecure and fearful that if they asked a question it would cause negative consequences.
So, barriers to communication ultimately was the inability to be vulnerable. Who knew communication was messing with our deepest darkest fears?
Organizations large and small go through the same issues. It doesn’t matter what systems you have in place we have to deal with the fact that we are human. Embrace the humanness and accept that we have stuff to work on.
Next, we got down to business and decided we would come up with 4 tips to help us communicate better.
Here is our list:
1. Be clear. Tell me what you really mean in a direct manner.
2. Ask clarifying questions. Ask, repeat what they said and make sure you really know what they mean.
3. Be real and vulnerable. If you don’t understand say so. (see #2)
4. Don’t assume you know. It will make an ASS out of U and ME. For real.
We all realize that we sometimes we don’t speak the same language. It’s true. We all have different personalities and experiences. It’s natural to be different. Ultimately, the goal is coming together to provide great client service.
As a leader in this firm I am really proud of this team. We do a better job because we tackle the hard stuff and our customers will only benefit from our efforts.
Stayed tuned more about communicating on our next blog.