Clear Communication - 2 X 9 Tips: Share Your Opinion!


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To say clearly, what you want to convey your own opinion politely, but unmistakably sounds simple, but it is difficult for many people. This often creates communicative misunderstandings and a lot of stress. 2 X 9 tips on how to do it better.

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Here writes for you:

Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.

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Just say what you think?

I am a friend of clear words. Because you just save time and are effective. But often I have to watch why that does not work out. Many prefer to go around the bush for fear of anyone thinking badly of them. Mostly there is personal uncertainty behind it - or the lack of a clear goal.

In fact, some people find it harder than you should think to say what you think! This is often because they themselves are not clear what they really want. And then it is easier to be vague.

The backgrounds

Because clear words do not necessarily mean recklessness - on the contrary: whoever makes himself clear what he wants and who also communicates clearly, acts in my opinion, much more considerate than others.

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It happens again and again and often unconsciously - in everyday life, in the job, in the personal relationship: We say A, I mean B and are then irritated that our interlocutor does not even understand what we want and in the end maybe even C does ,

When communication becomes stressful

The result is then often Zickereien, dispute and power games, which cost unnecessary time. Sylvana Pollehn has described a very nice example from restaurant manager Irene, who is shoving her staff around instead of giving clear instructions. Another classic example: disturbance of the neighborhood.

The old lady is upset about the volume of her young neighbor. But instead of just going there and talking to her to set clear rules for working together, the bell rings and demands harshly: “Quiet please!” Thinks itself right. The fronts harden, the dispute escalates and in the end you find yourself in front of the judge. It would be better to say what we actually mean, right?

Clear communication makes you productive

Clear communication not only makes you productive, but also prevents misunderstandings and saves you time. But just when anger or resistance is to be feared, many people tend to rewrite wishes or work instructions rather than plain language.

Typical plasticizer examples are: "I would like ..." instead of "Please do this ..." or "Could you do this as soon as possible" instead of "Please do it now". Motto: "He will somehow understand what I mean".

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Everyone understands only what he wants

The communication partner usually does not. Because most people only understand what they want to understand if they are given the choice. Then they do not care about each other's wishes or as soon as possible is next week and not immediately.

You can convince other people, if you avoid such plasticizers - for example, by creating acceptance for his own goals and common goals in the foreground. But that's another topic.

Why do we use plasticisers?

For me, the exciting question of clear communication is first of all: why can not we make it clear to others in other words what we expect and want, in order to avoid the misunderstandings right from the start?

There are a number of reasons for this which, depending on the situation, more or less come to fruition and should be reflected accordingly. Also because many actually believe that they had expressed themselves clearly - and yet the interlocutor did not understand the statement. Not infrequently, such misunderstandings result in several of the following motifs:

9 reasons for plasticizers

What is behind the communication errors? Why can not many people communicate clearly and politely? 9 reasons at a glance.

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  1. Uncertainty: Often there is a personal insecurity behind it - one simply does not dare to prevail or is afraid of an escalating conflict.
  2. The desire to be loved: Every human wants to be loved. Also bosses. However, it becomes problematic for them to expect love from their employees and to turn to it - for example, by avoiding clear decisions because they are afraid of making themselves unpopular. Roland Jäger has aptly described this type of boss as a "cuddle boss".
  3. To fulfill the expectation: Not infrequently, we also want to respond to the implicit or openly expressed expectations of our counterparts - especially if they are the boss or other important persons.
  4. Implicit expectations of others: Conversely, we often have implicit expectations of others - for example, that they can blindly follow our train of thought and already understand what we mean. But nobody can think-read.
  5. Society: Occasionally, especially in women, the social picture plays a role. Women should be nice, nice and friendly, that's the cliché. And to conform to this image and not to be considered as a bitch, many women try to rewrite their opinion rather than speak clearly and openly what they think.
  6. Beliefs: Many convictions have already been introduced to us as a child, as management consultant Claudia Hupprich shows. For example, a child who is often banned from speaking as a child will find it difficult to succeed even as an adult.
  7. Convenience: Sometimes it's just a matter of convenience - we just do not want a fight and think the problem will solve itself if we just start it kindly. A dangerous fallacy.
  8. Stress: The motive is very similar if we want to avoid further stress and conflicts during time constraints and therefore do not present our request too little. This can be bitterly avenged if the work order delegated has not been executed. Afterwards, the stress is usually greater.
  9. Tactical goals: Quite a few people try for tactical reasons to manipulate other people consciously or unconsciously. Again, there is often uncertainty behind it as a basic motive.

9 tips for clear communication with others

But how does that work with the clear communication that other people understand? A few Tipps:

  1. Attention: Many people who actually want to make their point of view clear, but are afraid to make themselves unpopular, use plasticizers such as "I mean" or "Shouldn't we ...". But they invite you to contradict. Better is a crystal clear “I want” or “I expect.”
  2. Increase acceptance: Of course, not everyone agrees with everything. Instead of printing from the beginning, you can simply postpone a reason after the statement: “Stick to the rest time. I have a very hard job and I need my sleep! ”
  3. Give all necessary information: In the same direction is also this tip. After all, people are much more likely to see when they know why something is expected. Therefore, even if it is time consuming at first: Give all the necessary information to a matter. This will also avoid annoying queries.
  4. Defining a common goal: Many people are more accessible when they know where the journey is going and when they have a common goal. Example work organization in one Company: “There is a lot to do this month and we all have to work overtime. But the next month will be much quieter. ”
  5. Straight to the destination: Actually, you want to graciously agree with the others with a few positive news before you deliver the unsightly message to him? Does not work! The attention curve of most people often drops significantly in the course of a conversation - and many conversation partners are just impatient and irritated, also because they often realize that something is in the bush. Better get straight to the point, according to the motto: The most important first!
  6. The sound makes the music: Especially with unpleasant conversations, it is often important how to convey something. Those who are irritated often increase their negative impact. In case of stress you should move unpleasant conversations to the next day.
  7. Trap not from the role: Everyone has roles in society. You probably talk to the boss or customer differently than with the life partner. How clear and direct you can become with your counterpart also depends on how you relate to the other person.
  8. Know limits: But your communication partner also has a social role. You should know and take note of these. For example, by communicating on an equal footing, instead of simply saying, "I want to, so do it!"
  9. Do not reveal: If you need to have a clarifying conversation, this should usually be done in private, so as not to offend anyone in front of others. Unless the topic concerns the whole group, then everyone should discuss it together.

Summary

So if you want to communicate clearly, understandably and unambiguously and are often misunderstood, then you should consider why this is because of your own insecurity, the convenience or similar motives. And then work to eliminate the communication errors as much as possible. Good luck!


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  1. Ginny

    Clear communication is so important, thanks for this post.

  2. Isabel

    Saying an opinion is always important!

  3. Liane Wolffgang

    My two-part article at imgriff: Say what you mean !: I'm a friend of clear words. Because they …

  4. Competencepartner

    My two-part article at imgriff: Say what you mean !: I'm a friend of course ...

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