The Power of Effective Communication

Communication is one of the biggest success factors in any relationship with employees, team members, co-workers, customers, and even friends or family members. How to communicate effectively determines your professional success and defines your personal relationships.


1) Connecting Increases Your Influence in Every Situation

“The #1 criteria for advancement and promotion for professionals is an ability to communicate effectively.” ~ Ralph G. Nichols

Connecting is the ability to identify with people and relate to them in such a way that it increases our influence with them. Leadership is an influence. Nothing more, nothing less.

2) Connecting is All About Others

“If you first help people get what they want, they will help you get what you want.” ~ Zig Ziglar

3 connecting questions others will ask themselves when we attempt to connect:

  1. Do you care for me?
  2. Can you help me?
  3. Can I trust you?

3) Connecting Goes Beyond Words

When many people try to communicate with others, they believe the message is all that matters. But the reality is that communication goes way beyond words. In an important study, UCLA psychology professor emeritus Albert Mehrabian discovered that face-to-face communications can be broken down into three components:

  1. Words
  2. Tone of Voice
  3. Body Language

What may come as a surprise is that in some situations, what people see us do and the tone we use can far outweigh any words we say while trying to communicate. In situations where feelings and attitudes are being communicated,

  • What we say accounts for only 7 % of what is believed.
  • The way we say it accounts for 38 %.
  • What others see accounts for 55 %.

Amazingly, more than 90 percent of the impression we often convey has nothing to do with what we actually say.

4) Connecting Always Requires Energy

“The wise does at once what the fool does at last.” ~ Jewish Proverb

Think of 3 communicators that you enjoy watching and listening to. One thing that they most likely all have in common is energy.

The 4 Unpardonable Sins of a Communicator is being…

  1. Unprepared
  2. Uncommitted
  3. Uninteresting
  4. Uncomfortable

5) Connecting Is More Skill than Natural Talent

“All great speakers were bad speakers first.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

What Makes People Listen?

If you want to be a better communicator or a better leader, you can’t depend on dumb luck. You must learn to connect with others by making the most of whatever skills and experience you have. When you listen to great communicators, you will notice that there are a handful of factors they seem to draw upon that cause people to listen to them. As you read about them, think about which of them you could use to connect with others:

  1. Relationships – who we know
  2. Sacrifice – how we have lived
  3. Insight – what we know
  4. Success – what we have done
  5. Ability – what we can do


6) Connectors Connect on Common Ground

It is difficult to find common ground with others when the only person you are focused on is yourself!

“It is well to remember that the entire universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others.” ~ John Holmes

4 Barriers to Finding Common Ground:

  1. Assumption – I already know what others know, feel, and want.
  2. Arrogance – I don’t need to know what others know, feel, or want.
  3. Indifference – I don’t care to know what others know, feel, or want.
  4. Control – I don’t want others to know what I know, feel, or think.

7) Connectors Do the Difficult Work of Keeping It Simple

“To be simple is to be great.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Art of Simplicity:

  1. Talk to people, not above them.
  2. Get to the point.

8) Connectors Create an Experience Everyone Enjoys

How to be interesting:

  1. Take responsibility for your listeners. In general, there are no bad audiences, only bad communicators.
  2. Communicate in their world. People don’t remember what we think is important; they remember what they think is important.
  3. Capture people’s attention from the start.
  4. Say it so it sticks.

9) Connectors Inspire People

The Inspiration Equation

What People Know + What People See + What People Feel = Inspiration

“Management is about persuading people to do things they do not want to do, while leadership is about inspiring people to do things they never thought they could.” ~ Steve Jobs

What People Need to Know:

  1. That you understand them and are focused on them.
  2. That you have high expectations of them.

What people need to See:

  1. People need to see your conviction/passion.
  2. People need to see your example.

What People Need to Feel:

  1. They need to feel your confidence in yourself and them.
  2. They need to feel your gratitude for them.

10) Connectors Live What They Communicate

Credibility is the currency for leaders and communicators. With it, they are solvent; without it, they are bankrupt.

The first six months – communication overrides credibility.

After six months – credibility overrides communication.

Originally Published on LinkedIn by Mack Story.