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It happened to me again this week. I tried to convey a suggestion and it was taken as “an insult.” Like me none of us are immune to mis communicating. No matter how well we choose our words they will have no meaning until they are translated by our listener. Effective communication involves feelings, connections, and other nonverbal signals. Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best. “What you do speaks so loudly, I can't hear what you are saying.” Therefore, it is important to understand the meaning others might put on your words. Your gestures, expressions, intonations, and beliefs will communicate much more meaning than the words alone.

Communication is a two-way process to exchange ideas. We communicate to elicit some type of response. Some examples of a response could be more knowledge, a specific action, or some type of emotion.

A good communicator, to be sure of the desired response, is also a good listener. He or she listens for feedback to see that the message is being understand. This also including watching the other person’s nonverbal signals and clues.

Depending on our communications media, the words we use might not have as powerful an impact as other factors. For example, in face-to-face conversations we communicate more information nonverbally through our body language and our tone of voice. Every communication has a nonverbal element.

You can miscommunicate with any form of medium. These are some that I have noticed.

Encouraging High Performance

Face to Face – Your body language will say whether you believe what you are saying or whether you are uncomfortable and unsure. When you speak look directly at the other person. If you look away it says you lack confidence or belief in your message. The listener might be reluctant to trust you based on your body language. Some other subtle signals such as the way you stand, the way you fidget, or your facial expression will create an impression that may be contrary to your words.

Email – I have heard people tell me that they can feel the anger in someone’s email. Tersely written emails with no forethought can do great damage. The misuse or overuse of email can damage relationships. I worked with a manager who sent emails to people who were sitting right outside her office. Her staff complained that she was impersonal and did not show interest in their contributions.

Phone -   Think about your message before you make that phone call. Your voicemail message on your phone should be carefully scripted. Listen to your message. If you were a caller, what impression would you receive? When you leave messages on answering machines, they should be concise and to the point, not rambling to the point of being cut off by the time limit?

Once again, remember that the best way to give a good message is to be a good listener. Remember, we have two ears and one mouth. Focus on the person receiving the message. Watch for clues of understanding, engagement, and agreement. In short, what to see if you are getting that response you desire. In this way you will ensure that you have connected and established two-way communication.  For a similar blog on our website see WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST BUSINESS CHALLENGE - COMMUNICATION.

Would you like your message to have its intended reaction?

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Comments (30)

Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
Relocation to NW AZ with elbow room & more freedom

Also understand emotional intelligence and how some innocent words may be viewed as judgmental such as the word "you." Good points Grant

Sep 12, 2022 02:16 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Grant, boy oh boy, communication can be mis-understood, and I think ESPECIALLY with texting.    

Sep 12, 2022 02:18 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Love this post Grant!  It's so important to see who someone is receiving a communication, which is difficult to do over the phone.  Phone call messages require extra reinforcement to make sure the listener understands a message, so listening for feedback an reinforcing a message may be required.  I find that very important as you say to listen carefully!  

Sep 12, 2022 02:59 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good evening Grant Schneider ,

What a great post! Communicatio9n is a two way street and listening is the key. Sometimes no matter how hard we listen with some we can happens. We have no control over how others hear our words or intepret them.

Sep 12, 2022 05:55 PM
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

Precisely why I still prefer to speak by phone FIRST and then send a text or email to confirm. (I know, by placing first in all caps I just offended someone)

Sep 12, 2022 06:02 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Grant- love your post. My personal pet peeve has always been if I'm misunderstood or if someone thinks I've said one thing when I meant something else. Communication can be so tricky especially when one or both parties aren't really listening to what is being said. 

Sep 12, 2022 07:46 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

There’s something to be said about working smarter every this is Devon with something at the club 

Sep 12, 2022 11:24 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

No matter which form of communication we use, we need to be careful to make sure what we are trying to say comes across the way we want it to. And listening/asking for clarification is an important part of that process.

Enjoy your day!

Sep 13, 2022 04:40 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Emails and text messages are cold ways to communicate and can be easily misunderstood. In-person is best, in my opinion, Grant and am glad that the masks are done, for the most part. I have noticed that some people are ultra-sensitive and it's like trying to walk on egg shells without crushing any! Sheesh!

Sep 13, 2022 09:48 AM
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage~ Ginger Harper Real Estate Team - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

Great post.  Thanks for sharing.


Sep 13, 2022 10:45 AM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

Amazing how people will twist things.  I've actually heard people analyzing text messages--especially with accompanying imoges.  I text when I have something quick to say, often just one sentence or even a quick "On my way".  Emails are longer, when I need to explain something, attach information, etc. and those have to be carefully crafted.  I seldom leave voice phone messages anymore, because if I want to say something it can be either done quickly by text or more thought out with an email. 

Sep 13, 2022 06:31 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Grant I remember way back in college in one of my degrees I took this class called 'Effective Communication'.  It was basically about LISTENING to what others were saying and responding to that...and not making assumptions.  Fast forward all these years and it's so much easier to be misunderstood via email, text etc. 

Sep 13, 2022 08:55 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Joe - thank you so much.

George - and sometimes urgency causes to take shortcuts which is never good.

Leanne - absolutely correct and that means taking it slow sometimes.

Joan - yes, and I think it is because people text before they think.

Jan - you made an excellent point and that may have been a casualty of not meeting in person.

Dorie - that is true and avoiding something rather than confronting it is the role some people take.

Rocky - yes, I am the same way.  I always prefer the conversation first.

Kathy - active listening is important.  A topic for another post.

Laura - yes, thanks.

Kat - restating is a good way to indicate that what you heard is what they meant.

Wanda - in this case of mine it was on the phone but he was also ultra sensitive.

Ginger - thanks.

Hella - one of the things about voicemail is that there is no feedback - no two way communication.

Anna - ha, I think I might have one of those books from college.  The only technology we had was the landline phone.

Sep 14, 2022 05:49 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Grant Schneider Very well said people are very sensitive these days and unfortunately we must speak carefully 

Sep 14, 2022 08:56 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hannah - that is so true.  I have to think it over and over again.

Sep 15, 2022 03:53 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Grant, great post, and communication is the basis of our business.    It can go wonky pretty quickly, if you don't THINK before you send.   (and read)

Sep 15, 2022 07:00 AM
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hi Grant Schneider, whether be in business or our personal lives, without effective communication, we will be often misunderstood or misunderstand what someone is trying to convey. Great post!

Sep 15, 2022 02:19 PM
Aura Alex
CloseMyDeal, LLC - Seattle, WA
Specializing in Multifamily Projects Nationwide

Those days were gone when we stepped out of the office to meet potential or existing clients for coffee or attend a power lunch to negotiate. 

Today, we have Zoom and long-distance meetups. The last time someone from LinkedIn in Indiana asked me (I was in Seattle) to meet him for coffee was in 2010!! 🙃

The world has changed, but our needs for effective communication haven't. Hence, your points are excellent and duly noted!

Sep 16, 2022 08:58 AM
Gary J. Muccio, Associate Broker
Keller Williams of Central PA - Camp Hill, PA
Exceptional Customer Service!

Good morning, Grant!

Excellent post with great reminders for all of us. Real Estate involves so much detailed and legal information. Couple that with buyer's high emotions when purchasing or selling, and it's critical that communication is clear and understood. Listening 80% and talking 20% is always a good rule of thumb.  Thanks again and continued success to you!

Sep 17, 2022 06:27 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Grant I am sorry I missed this great post and I so agree with the Ralph Waldo Emerson comment. so true not only with our work but also in our personal life, Endre

P.s.: Congratulations on the Gold Star

Sep 17, 2022 10:37 PM