IT IS WHAT YOU SAID BUT NOT WHAT YOU MEANT!

By
Education & Training with Performance Development Strategies

 

One sentence with the same words can have many different meanings. Zig Ziglar showed how the sentence “I did not say he beat his wife” could have eight different meanings. Each time you change the voice inflection on a word you change the meaning. Clearly sending a message is not simple. You must consider the words and the way the words are delivered.

Recently I met executives of a Westchester County New York company. The employees felt that there were a lot of changes but also believed that management was not keeping them informed. Productivity almost always suffers in times of great change because employee stress dramatically increases due to the universal fear of the unknown. Often senior executives genuinely believe they are communicating with employees when it comes to matters that affect them. Unfortunately, they often underestimate the number of matters that includes.

As a manager do you know with certainty what is important to employees and what to tell them? The only way to know is to put yourself in their shoes and see things from their position and mindset. Think to yourself, “If I were hearing this information what would I thinking right now given the current situation?” If you were that employee what would be important for you to know? What is the worst thing that could happen, and would you want to know about it in advance? How would you want to be told?

How would you be answering these questions? You can’t answer the questions without the input from your staff—the people affected by the changes. Depending on how much you can discuss, or how much is already known, you might ask a few individuals what the grapevine is saying, and what people are worrying and wondering about.

Now, armed with this information, draft the answers to the questions. Of course, they must be truthful answers, for insincerity is easily recognized and will deal a deathblow to your communication efforts. Then they must be couched in terms that are clear and uncompromising, but also considerate and compassionate. It's worth spending some time on this part. Lack of commitment to your message is also easily read and will automatically raise the cynicism level among employees.

You should carefully consider the media used to communicate your message. The way a person receives news can dramatically affect how he or she feels about it, so you need to choose the medium very carefully. E-mail can be perceived as cold and unfeeling in many cases, although it is useful for routine updates that don't have emotional overtones. Some messages are better spoken, either by managers to their groups or by the CEO to the whole organization.

If the messengers don't have highly developed communication skills, it's worth engaging services of people can coach them in the tools of two-way communication. The message must remain honest, clear, and compassionate.

Consultative Sales

And above all, follow through on your commitments and promises. Nothing turns employees off more than empty words. Sincere, caring, ongoing communication can form the basis for building employee engagement when the present time of turmoil ends.  For a similar post on our web site see THAT IS NOT WHAT I SAID.

Learn how to make your message have its intended result.

Contact us to learn more

or call 914-953-4458.

 

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Roy Kelley 03/03/2020 01:00 AM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
New York Westchester County
Groups:
Coaching and Mentoring
Tags:
same words different meanings
carefully consider the media
some messages are better spoken
follow through on your committments
voice inflection of a word can change its meaning

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Rainmaker
224,448
John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

No doubt the written word has connotations and one must be careful to get across an accurate message.  Thanks for the Ziggy saying; I remember that too.  You have a lot of information about management and until my staff gets large enough, it seems the best I can do is keep the wisdom in mind until I grow to that point!  Thanks again, Grant

Feb 24, 2020 02:42 PM #19
Rainmaker
968,894
Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor e-Pro, CRS, RCS-D, Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Oh how often I'm told "it's not what you said, it's how you said it." Even when being careful, people hear what they want to here. Marriage, kids and sales reveal that daily.

Feb 24, 2020 03:47 PM #20
Ambassador
4,090,522
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Grant- what a wonderful post!! With so much texting that is done these days, we lose what can only be discovered through a face to face conversation. Even then, we have to know who we're speaking to and where they're coming from to make sure that the message we want to get across is taken in the way we hope it will be. 

Feb 24, 2020 05:42 PM #21
Rainmaker
2,082,331
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Barbara - in some cases it takes much thinking.

George - yes, yes, that is something very prevalent in the corporate world.

Joan - I certainly have had my share of mistakes.

Ron and Alexandra A - That sentence is so important.  In the world of business that means always doing the right thing.

Krystin - since communication is two way we must consider our audience.

Sheri - Listening check.  That is something I will have to use.  I love it.

 

Feb 24, 2020 06:27 PM #22
Rainmaker
2,082,331
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Lottie - it is amazing.  What a great example of voice inflection.

Margaret - Good point.  that is something to think about.

John - right on.  Thanks for that.

Thomas - there are so many verbal and non verbal signals.

Kathy - the face to face it good.  In large companies though written communication is used and it must be proofed well.

 

Feb 24, 2020 07:31 PM #23
Ambassador
4,152,415
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Grant:

We know how important communication is in life, and business, and your points are right on target. Voice inflection, and body language can play such an important role, which is why, in part, some text and email communication goes awry.

Your discussion takes me back to my HR days, with experience in multiple acquisitions, mergers, layoffs and other major corporate changes. Sadly management felt the repercussions of poor, or limited, communication.

But there's a valuable lesson for us when dealing with buyers and sellers, especially in emotional situations, and being careful and cautious about what we communicate, how, and when.

Jeff

Feb 24, 2020 08:39 PM #24
Rainmaker
3,098,238
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Grant,

WOW two featured blogs in a row, that means I'm following the right people.  I'm very careful about the verbiage I use when I'm speaking.

Feb 25, 2020 12:23 AM #25
Rainmaker
2,082,331
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Jeff - that reminds me of one merger where during talks with another HR department I could not understand what I said the upset the heard of HR.  It happens so easily.

James - thank you for that.  It sounds like you are a very effective leader from points you made in the past.

Feb 25, 2020 05:09 AM #26
Rainmaker
2,531,058
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Feelings often get in the way of expressing ones self accurately & succintly. At the very least they slow you down. Listening and then responding works using the less is more principal. Discipline rules the day and time is precious

Feb 25, 2020 06:29 AM #27
Rainmaker
5,671,294
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Grant, for sharing your experience and your advice.

Feb 25, 2020 07:29 AM #28
Rainmaker
705,861
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on communication. It is important to communicate well with all that you work with. The way someone says something can make all the difference in the world. We just talked to an inspector on this topic, it is how you say it along with the tone you say it. 

Have a blessed day to all. 

Feb 25, 2020 12:26 PM #29
Ambassador
939,283
Lynn B. Friedman
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ... - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Grant Schneider Lots to learn from you as usual. Here are two of my "take-aways" from this post -- 
"The way a person receives news can dramatically affect how he or she feels about it, so you need to choose the medium very carefully."  Like a woman I know who received an email from the man she had dated for 17 years saying he was breaking up with her. Probably not the right medium...

"And above all, follow through on your commitments and promises." Isn't that the truth! 
All the best - Lynn

Feb 25, 2020 01:01 PM #30
Rainmaker
621,607
John Marshall - FORE!
LoKation Real Estate - Cherry Hills Village, CO
Specializing in Golf Course Properties

Great Reminder Grant Schneider there are days I pull my hair out (actually its all gone) reading replies to our biweekly newsletter, wondering what part of my communication they are not getting, only to re-read the newsletter and realize, if I were them I would have reacted the same way.

I need to take better care of looking at the communication I sent out, from both perspectives.

Feb 25, 2020 02:50 PM #31
Rainmaker
2,082,331
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Richie -  true about discipline and many don't even take the time.

Roy - thank your very much.

Laura - the biggest problem people say they have is communication.

Lynn - that break up example is cruel.  It is deliberate miscommunication.

John - isn't it amazing when we actually take a step back.

Feb 26, 2020 06:07 AM #32
Rainmaker
1,362,574
Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl
Samsel & Associates - Clark, NJ
The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

Sometimes what I thought I Wayne said isn't what he meant to say at all :)

Feb 26, 2020 01:44 PM #33
Ambassador
3,688,290
Patricia Kennedy
Redfin - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

The most important communication skill is, of course, listening! And so many of us don't do that too well.

Feb 27, 2020 11:11 AM #34
Rainmaker
2,082,331
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl Jean LOL - marital communications is a whole other arena.

Patricia Kennedy - that is for sure.  Rather than thinking of what you will say next.

Feb 28, 2020 06:55 PM #35
Rainmaker
999,223
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

For the first time in 17 years I'm involved in a corporation on the side.  The issues in your post relate to some of what we are experiencing.  Delving out tasks for each, appreciating strengths and weaknesses, and making it all come together is in and of itself a monumental task.  Great post!

Mar 02, 2020 05:51 PM #36
Rainmaker
2,082,331
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Jan - new ways but still the same principles.

Mar 04, 2020 05:32 AM #37
Rainmaker
4,261,409
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Grant, there are times our words are misconstrued even when we think the statement was quite clear!    Great post. 

Mar 13, 2020 05:41 AM #38
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