1.2 Communicating With Peers Part 2
John Maxwell is a leadership development expert and he's so passionate about this topic that he wrote an entire book about it called Everyone Communicates Few Connect. Use your body to highlight and emphasize your message in a way that indicates willingness for two-way communication, like, opening your arms, turning towards the recipient, maintaining eye contact. In today's reading you'll find additional techniques in all the areas we're discussing, however, despite our best intention conflict can arise during communication with peers.
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Welcome back. In today’s session, we’ll be taking a look at some specific techniques to use when communicating with peers. Communicating with your peers may be one of the most frequent ways in which you interact at work. Before we jump into some specific techniques,. I wanna share one foundational element that sits underneath all of the techniques I’m going to share that will help you truly reach others. This element is so powerful, it can improve your workplace relationships and help you be more successful in your career. This element is connecting through communication. In your reading you saw that in communication there’s a sender and a receiver of a message. In order to positively impact the recipient of the message, connect with the recipient while you’re communicating. What exactly is communicating? John Maxwell defines it as the ability to identify with people and relate to them in a way that increases your influence with them. John Maxwell is a leadership development expert and he’s so passionate about this topic that he wrote an entire book about it called Everyone Communicates Few Connect. In his book he says that connections are not about us, rather they’re about others. So it follows that effective communication is about others as well. How does this show up? Because peers are usually on the same playing field as you, it’s important to communicate with them in a way that reinforces this. I’m going to give you some techniques to communicate with your peers verbally, non-verbally, internally, and virtually. When communicating verbally with your peers one-on-one, consider your audience, how well do you know this peer? What do they most appreciate in a working relationship? Do they talk a lot, or do they prefer to keep things brief? If you’re communicating verbally with a peer who you do not know very well, take your cues from their communication. Remember, communication’s about others. Mirror their approach. If they want to engage in a lengthy dialogue, be a good listener. Find some commonalities and talk with him or her about them. If they’re keeping things brief do the same. If you already know this peer pretty well build upon what you know about them and extend the verbal communication by finding out additional things about them and their business needs by asking questions. When communicating with peers in a group, again, consider your audience. However, a group audience may have mixed preferences. So the best way to approach verbal communication in a group is to invite others to actively dialogue with you in a participative way. In a group setting verbal statements like, I’d like to hear from others who have similar perspectives or divergent ones, so we can have a healthy discussion. Go a long way to connecting and enhancing the effectiveness of the communication. Verbal communication often goes hand in hand with non-verbal communication. When communicating one on one or in a group of peers, the receiver of a message will be observing your non-verbal communication simultaneously. Your non-verbal communication will serve as an additional data point to inform them of your message. Whether your actions match your words. Whether you’re being authentic, and whether you care about them. First, consider your facial expression. Intentionally use facial expressions that align with your message. Next, identify your gestures. Use your body to highlight and emphasize your message in a way that indicates willingness for two-way communication, like, opening your arms, turning towards the recipient, maintaining eye contact. Smiling is also a useful technique to indicate openness. Some people are naturally just predisposed to smiling. I’m one of those people. If you’re not one of those people, consider you may wanna actively implement this technique to make your communication more effective. I also suggest you move in a way that demonstrates cohesiveness with your message. If you have an urgent message, but you’re strolling over to discuss it, it will come across as incongruent and confusing to the recipient. Most peer communication happens internally with an organization, so I’ll save our external discussions for the next few modules. What I will say is that internal communication with your peers is generally a little bit less formal than your communication with others in the workplace within the confines of an organizational culture. By that I mean if your organizational culture is formal and traditional to begin with, peer communication may be a little more casual within the confines of formality. If on the other hand, organizational culture is informal, peers will likely appreciate casual information. When communicating virtually with peers, most of the same techniques we have discussed apply with an additional layer of thoughtfulness. Communication is most effective when making connections. And if connections are about the other person, continue to think about the recipient when you communicate virtually. Even though most organizations leverage technology not everyone’s comfortable communicating virtually. Inquire if your recipient likes to communicate via e-mail, webcam, or text. If you’re communicating virtually with someone in another timezone, consider the time of day on their end. You can extend that consideration by inquiring if the proposed communication time works for them. If you’re communicating virtually in writing only, review your message for the tone in which is conveyed. It will not have the benefit of non-verbal communication to supplement the message. Lastly, keep in mind that some organizations have guidelines and boundaries around virtual communications in order to maintain confidentiality. And protect proprietary company information, so make sure you know and abide by your organization’s guidelines. In today’s reading you’ll find additional techniques in all the areas we’re discussing, however, despite our best intention conflict can arise during communication with peers. This is an obstacle that can be difficult to overcome. However, there’s still ways to communicate during times of conflict and you can mutually resolve disagreements productively and leave the relationship intact. If conflict arises with a peer, keep the underlying foundation of connection in mind. Learn different conflict styles, so you can recognize them when faced with conflict, which often arises unexpectedly. In your reading, you’ll find five conflict styles that you can use to understand your own style and recognize them in others. By knowing your style and having the ability to recognize others, you can then apply the most effective approach. When entering into verbal communication to resolve conflict, use the five steps in your reading, to set the stage, gather information about the situation, agree upon the issue, brainstorm solutions, and agree upon the final solution. Emotions also tend to increase during times of conflict. Have you ever know that someone was upset, and when you asked them what was wrong, they said, nothing, and all the non-verbal gestures and behaviors indicated the opposite? Non-verbal signals can further intensify conflict, so pay attention to non-verbal behaviors when you’re in conflict. The last thing I wanna touch on is co, cross cult, cultural communication. We know that communication across borders can change to the norms, styles, and customs, and can often be challenging. Verbal communication may not be as clear, there may be language differences. Gestures may not symbolize the same meaning. And communicating virtually across cultures may add a layer of complexity. John Maxwell has developed a strategy he calls the three S’s, that works really well. Keep it simple, say it slowly, and have a smile. Simple, slow, smile. Keep the message at the level of the recipient to increase the probability that it’ll be understood. Speak slowly when communicating to reduce language confusion, and if all else fails, smile. It’s globally recognized with positive intent. Keep cross cultural communication in mind when navigating conflict, as well. In our next session, we’ll be discussing communication with your manager. Wherever you are, enjoy your day or evening.
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